"Gen. Alain Guillaume Bunyoni may have been arrested in Bujumbura Rural, as a relative informed us via phone call. The person did not provide further details. His relatives want his life to be protected," he said.
Le Mandat.org reported that Gen. Bunyoni was at the home of Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa in Bujumbura on Thursday evening. The news outlet explained that top military officers close to Gen. Bunyoni informed him of a possible arrest and arrived at the home two days before his residence was searched.
They advised him to flee to Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa’s home pending negotiations between President Ndayishimiye and Bunyoni.
It is said that Burundian Chief Defense Staff, Général Prime Niyongabo, mediated between the two sides, but the mediation ended without resolution because President Ndayishimiye wanted Bunyoni incarcerated over alleged misallocation of public funds and threats to national security, as he accused Bunyoni of preparing a coup plot.
Bunyoni, who previously served as the country’s police chief and security minister, was removed from office last September in the first significant government reshuffle since President Evariste Ndayishimiye took office in 2020.
Police and intelligence officers reportedly searched three of Bunyoni’s properties on Monday but found no evidence of his whereabouts, according to local security and media reports.
Interior Minister Martin Niteretse stated at a press conference on Wednesday that the search for Bunyoni is ongoing, but he did not disclose the motives behind the operation.
Bunyoni, a prominent figure in the ruling CNDD-FDD party, was appointed prime minister in 2020 and dismissed shortly after President Ndayishimiye warned of a "coup plot" against him.