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Burundi: President Fires Defense, Foreign Ministers

Following last week’s foiled coup attempt in Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza has dismissed his defence and foreign ministers according to a presidential spokesperson.

Emmanuel Ntahonvukiye, a civilian, was named on Monday to replace Pontian Gaciyubwenge, the defence minister, while Alain Aime Nyamitwe was appointed foreign minister to succeed Laurent Kavakure, the spokesperson said.

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from the capital Bujumbura, said Nkurunziza was “under a lot of pressure” not to stand for a controversial third term and perhaps he had put trusted allies in those positions “who won’t try to stab him in the back”.

Earlier on Monday, Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan president, told Nkurunziza that he should postpone a presidential election due next month after last week’s failed military coup, Kenyatta’s spokesperson said.

Manoah Esipisu, the spokesperson, said the two leaders, whose nations belong to the East African Community common market, had spoken by phone on Sunday. Kenyatta’s counterparts in the region shared his view, Esipisu said.

On Monday, heavily armed soldiers were deployed in Bujumbura, days after the failed coup attempt that followed widespread protests against Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term

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