Nkurunziza skips regional talks aimed at brokering a deal to end weeks of unrest in the country, choosing instead to campaign for his third term. Leaders of the five-nation East African Community (EAC) bloc are due to meet Monday in Dar es Salaam. Foreign Minister Alain Aime-Nyamitwe would take his place. Nkurunziza will instead lead his presidential campaign in Burundi’s central Mwaro and Gitega regions.
Heads of state of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, plus South African President Zuma meet in Tanzania to discuss a political crisis in Burundi triggered by the president’s plan to run for a third term. Nkurunziza doesn’t attend, and is represented by the country’s foreign minister, Aime. Rwanda also sends a minister rather than the head of state. The leaders call for the postponement of elections by at least a month and a half. Tanzania’s President Kikwete:
The leaders have been trying to navigate our way so we can help the people of Burundi to land safely under the current circumstances.
Loyalist police and army officers crush an attempted coup in Burundi. The announcement follows two days of confusion over who controls the country. Despite the official declaration that the overthrow plot has been defeated, it us by no means clear that stability will return to Burundi. United Nations officials express fears about retribution and further violence. Niyombare’s whereabouts remain unclear. Nkurunziza:
I would like to thank the army and the police for defeating the wrongdoers. There is peace in the country, including the capital city, where those coup plotters were operating.
Authorities in Burundi close university accommodation and force thousands of students to leave the campus in an operation apparently designed to halt a wave of protests. Large numbers of students, many of whom come from rural areas, are seen evacuating the University of Burundi, in the capital Bujumbura.
Burundian police fire tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of protesters opposed to the president running for a third term. Protesters take shelter in shops or buildings before regrouping. Some hurl stones at police. Rain helps disperse them. Opposition groups spokesperson:
The police used brutality to disperse peaceful protesters, but this will not discourage us. We will continue the struggle
A presidential spokesman says the protests have no justification when the ruling party has not announced its candidate.
How can you protest against something that has not happened? The president has not announced that he will run for a third term.
The United States is deeply concerned by the rising tensions in Burundi in advance of general elections, calling on all parties in Burundi to play a constructive and peaceful role in the electoral process and to refrain from any acts, including hate speech, violence, or other provocations, that could feed the climate of fear and instability. The U.S. will continue to monitor the situation in Burundi closely and take steps, including, where appropriate, by denying U.S. visas to individuals who order, plan, or participate in acts of violence
We call on the national police, the Burundian military, and all security force personnel to provide security in an impartial manner throughout the electoral process and to protect civilians from intimidation and other abuses.
All 486 South African goldmine workers are found safe after being trapped in a mine. The cause was a fire 2,300 meters below the mine’s surface. Before finding the total 486 South African President Zuma:
I urge all South Africans to keep the miners in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult period.
Tunisia is revamping its drug laws. The laws have been criticized for having a one-year minimum sentence and for not distinguishing between hard and soft drugs. More than half of the 25,000 inmates in the nation of 11 million are in prison on drug offenses. According to a 2013 U.N. report, prisons in Tunisia are overcrowded, and some facilities are at 150 percent of capacity. The revamping of the drug law was spurred by the arrest of a popular activist and blogger, Aziz Amami. Amna Guellali, a researcher for Human Rights Watch group, says:
This law has destroyed the lives and futures of millions of young Tunisians who, like Aziz, found themselves, at one point or another, caught in the gears of the justice system. Law 52 reveals the fundamental problems of the penal and judicial system in Tunisia, which does not guarantee people’s rights and clogs prisons with minor offenders.
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress wins the country’s election. The ANC receives 65.9% of the vote, the Democratic Alliance 16.66% and the Congress of the People (COPE) – formed by ANC dissidents – 7.42%. The turnout is 77.30%. but the result falls just short of the two-thirds majority needed to make unchallenged changes to the constitution. Zuma claims victory and the outcome is welcomed by ministers in neighboring Zimbabwe as intensifying pressure on President Robert Mugabe.
Zuma is elected president of the African National Congress at the party’s conference in Polokwane. Mbeki receives 1,505 votes to Zuma’s 2,329. As the announcement of each position is announced, thousands of delegates blow whistles, dance on tables and chairs, and sing and cheer—despite being asked to wait until after the announcement before applauding. Later the celebrations continue with fireworks.