East African summit on Burundi cancelled

The East African Community summit was meant to begin today at 12.30pm, which has now been delayed amid reports of an attempted coup.

East African summit on Burundi cancelled

World Bulletin / News Desk

 An East African Community (EAC) leaders' summit devoted to the simmering political situation in EAC member-state Burundi has been delayed amid reports of an attempted coup in Burundi.

The leaders of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have all arrived in Dar es Salaam for the summit, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter who is covering the event.

He added that the summit itself had yet to begin – hours after it was scheduled to start – while Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza had yet to be seen at the summit venue.

The summit was originally scheduled to kick off at 12:30pm.

Earlier Wednesday, a Burundian army general announced the "dismissal" of Nkurunziza and his government amid ongoing anti-government protests that have paralyzed the country for almost three weeks.

Godefroid Niyombare, a former Burundian intelligence chief, told the private Bonesha FM radio station that Nkurunziza was no longer the president.

A government spokesman, however, has since dismissed the general's announcement as "a farce," according to local media.

At least 22 people have been killed in protests and clashes since late April, when Nkurunziza announced plans to seek a third term in office.

Critics say a third-term run by Nkurunziza would violate the terms of the 2000 Arusha agreement, which – along with ending a Hutu-Tutsi civil war – stipulated that Burundi's president should not serve out more than two terms in office.

However, Burundi's Constitutional Court has ruled that Nkurunziza's third-term bid would not violate the country's national charter.

The court ruled that, since he was elected in 2005 by parliament and not by the people, Nkurunziza's first stint in office should not be counted as a first presidential term.

Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, has been in power since 2005.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mayıs 2015, 15:54