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State radio in Burundi back on the air as loyalists take over

Burundi's state radio is back on the air, a presidential spokesman has said, as forces loyal to Pierre Nkurunziza take control.

The station had stopped broadcasting after heavy gunfire was heard at its headquarters in capital city Bujumbura, but resumed this afternoon by playing music.

The spokesman said loyalists were also in control of Bujumbura airport.

It follows an attempted coup by armed forces following weeks of rioting and violent protests against Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term, which some argue violates the country's constitution.

Burundi state radio stops broadcast amid gunfire at HQ

Burundi state radio has stopped broadcasting, as witnesses reported hearing heavy gunfire coming from the station's headquarters, according to Reuters.

There has been fighting in the area between forces loyal to current President Pierre Nkurunziza, and the supporters of a failed coup staged by the army.

One of the stations attacked was used by Major General Godefroid Niyombare to announce he had "sacked" the president yesterday.

Nkurunziza has condemned the "coup plotters", but said he would forgive soldiers who surrender.


Burundi president pleads for calm after army coup fails

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has appealed for calm after weeks of rioting and violent protests at his decision to run for a third term.

The president has appealed for calm after weeks of violent protests Credit: Reuters

It comes as the head of the country's army, Chief of Staff General Prime Niyongabo, admitted an attempted coup had failed, with forces loyal for Nkurunziza controlling "all strategic points".

The Burundi constitution and a peace agreement which helped end an ethnically-fuelled war in 2005 limits presidents to only standing for two terms.

But he has argued that his first term did not count, as he was appointed by law-makers, rather than elected.

Protesters say the president's decision violates their constitution Credit: Reuters

More than 20 people have been killed in the protests, while an estimated 70,000 people have fled to neighbouring nations to get away from the fighting.

Heavy gunfire has also been heard near two private radio stations in the capital city Bujumbura, one of which carried the announcement yesterday by General Godefroid Niyombare that he had "sacked" the president.


Mahama: 'Africa could seek UN mandate to fight'

Ghana's President John Mahama has said the African Union could ultimately seek a UN mandate for a force to fight Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist insurgents but it must first establish its own regional military operation to combat the militants.

Ghana's President John Mahama (centre). Credit: Reuters

West African leaders will seek a mandate from the African Union at a summit meeting next week to put together a multinational force and it will be months before the force is ready, said Mahama, who chairs the West African body.

Gerard Depardieu repeats claims he ate and killed two lions

Gerard Depardieu also professes to quaff a half-bottle of Pastis a day. Credit: Domine-Wyters/PA Wire

Gerard Depardieu has claimed he shot two lions in self-defence and then ate them whilst in Africa, according to reports.

The French actor said the incident took place in 2011 when the car he was travelling in broke down in Burkina Faso.

He made the initial extraordinary boast in September to a French film magazine and claimed he can drink 14 bottles of wine a day, but now appears to have confirmed them to the Independent Magazine in the UK.

Asked if he ate the creatures after they were killed, he said "Yes."

He said: "The two lions waited in front of us and wouldn't move. Hours passed, we couldn't get out of the car, the African driver was very afraid. "We had no choice, we had to shoot them."

African Nations Cup in jeopardy amid Ebola fears

The nation of Morocco has failed to meet a deadline to confirm it will go ahead with the hosting of January's African Nations Cup finals amid fears over the spread of the Ebola virus, throwing the 2015 tournament into jeopardy.

African Cup of Nations Trophy. Credit: Liewig Christian/ABACA/Press Association Images

Morocco officials, who want the 16-team event postponed, said they had rejected an ultimatum set by the Confederation of African Football to confirm their hosting of the continental championship, set for January 17 to February 8.

A decision on the tournament will now be made next week when CAF have an executive committee meeting in Cairo but Morocco are almost certain to be stripped as hosts.

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