US Evacuates Dozens of Americans, Foreigners in Burundi Amid Violence

US Department of State spokesperson Jeff Rathke says that the United States has evacuated all US citizens and their dependents in Burundi who have asked to leave the country amid a failed coup that forced more than 100,000 people to flee.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has evacuated all US citizens and their dependents in Burundi who have asked to leave the country amid a failed coup that forced more than 100,000 people to flee, US Department of State spokesperson Jeff Rathke said during a press briefing on Monday.

"As a result of the deteriorating security situation, we ordered the departure of non-emergency US government personnel as well as family members, the dependents on May 14th,” Rathke stated. “And in response to the requests from several diplomatic missions in Bujumbura, we provided evacuation assistance both to US citizens and to other foreign citizens in Burundi."

A protester, who is against President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term, gestures in front of a burning barricade in Bujumbura, Burundi May 14, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Rathke explained that the United States chartered three commercial flights from Burundi on Sunday that transported about 20 US citizens and several foreign citizens with them.

"As of right now, those were all of the people who had a desire to depart [Burundi], we remain in contact and we'll see how that situation might change,” Rathke said.

In April 2015, widespread protests erupted in Burundi following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s announcement to seek reelection, which opponents say contradicts the country's constitution.

Last week, Burundi’s authorities arrested the leaders of an attempted coup, which caused over 105,000 people to flee the country, according to the United Nations.

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