Burundi Alert on terror threat from Somalia’s Al-Shabaab

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Sunday made his first appearance in the capital since the attempted coup against his government last week.
Mr. Nkurunziza appeared before journalists at his presidential palace in Bujumbura Sunday morning. He made a brief statement saying that he is concerned with the threat from Somalia’s Al-Shabaab.
Burundi is one of a number of African countries contributing troops to the African Union force in Somalia that is battling al-Shabaab. The group has carried out violent attacks in Kenya and Uganda in retaliation for sending troops to Somalia.
“You know that Burundi is among the countries that is contributing troops in Somalia and that’s why I came here to contact my friends and my fellow presidents in Kenya and Uganda and these countries are being targeted by Al-Shabaab,” Nkurunziza said French.
He said his aim in contacting fellow presidents was to look at strategies to stop threats to the security of Burundians.
Mr. Nkurunziza was in neighboring Tanzania on Wednesday when a general announced a coup. Loyal forces put down the rebellion and Mr. Nkurunziza returned to the country, but he hadn’t been seen in the capital.
The coup attempt came after weeks of street protests against Mr. Nkurunziza’s efforts to stay in power by standing in elections for a third term in office.
Seventeen security officials, including five generals, accused in the attempted coup appeared Saturday before a prosecutor who charged them with an attempt at destabilizing public institutions, lawyers of some of the suspects said. The general who announced the coup, however, remains at large.
In Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis called for a sense of responsibility to prevail in Burundi following the attempted coup.
The pontiff made the appeal during his Sunday noon blessing from St. Peter’s Square.
He said: “I would like to invite you to pray for the dear people of Burundi, which is undergoing a delicate moment: May the Lord help all to avoid violence and act responsibly for the good of the country.”
wsj.com

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