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Burundi president appears in capital, warns of Islamist threat

Sunday, May 17, 2015 - 01:25

President Pierre Nkurunziza makes his first public appearance in the capital since an attempted coup last week failed to oust him, warning of a threat posed by Islamist militants from Somalia. Pavithra George reports.

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Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza made no mention of the crisis in his country .... when he made his first public appearance in the capital Bujumbura since an attempted coup last week failed to oust him. ... a crisis ignited weeks ago when he decided to seek a third term in office -- a decision that plunged this tiny East African nation into political turmoil. Instead, Nkurunziza warned of an Islamist threat in Burundi, saying he's "preoccupied" with al Shabaab militants who have attacked Somalia, Kenya and neighboring countries. His government, he said, is tackling the threat. (SOUNDBITE) (French) BURUNDI PRESIDENT, PIERRE NKURUNZIZA, SAYING: "Burundi has contributed to sending troops to Somalia so we came here to contact our friends and colleagues here in Kenya as well as in Uganda. Both are privileged targets for al Shabaab. The agenda is to put in place proactive measures to face these attacks that are a security risk to the citizens of Burundi." Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third five-year term led to days of often-violent protests and last week's failed coup, which was staged when he was reportedly out of the country. Diplomats say the longer the unrest continues the more chance that Burundi's conflict -- which up to now has been largely a power struggle -- could reopen old wounds in a region with a history of ethnic killing.

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Burundi president appears in capital, warns of Islamist threat

Sunday, May 17, 2015 - 01:25