A former Burundian defense minister has been charged along with 27 ex-security officials for their alleged involvement in a May coup attempt to oust President Pierre Nkurunziza while he was seeking a third term in office.

Former Defense Minister Gen. Cyrille Ndayirukiye led the suspects in petitioning the Supreme Court, sitting in the central town of Gitega, to improve the conditions of their detention before trial continues.

Ndayirukiye said they must use a bucket as a toilet and are being held in isolation. The court ordered prison authorities to improve the conditions of the suspects' detention.

Burundi has been in turmoil since the April announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza will seek a third term in office. Nkurunziza won elections in July but violence has since escalated.