Burundi President Dies of Covid-19

“The Government of the Republic of Burundi announces with great sadness the unexpected
death of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi following
heart failure on June 8, 2020,” it said in a post on its official Twitter account.

His death comes on the heels of elections on
May 20 in which his hand-picked successor, Evariste Ndayishimiye, secured a seven-year term as president — a result confirmed by the constitutional court last Thursday. Ndayishimiye was due to be sworn in in August.

A statement from Burundi’s presidency on
Tuesday said Nkurunziza was hospitalised over
the weekend and that his health “abruptly changed” on Monday. It said the country would observe seven days of mourning beginning Tuesday.

An evangelical who believed he was chosen by God to rule the East African nation, Nkurunziza
came to power in 2005, when he was selected by parliament His controversial and ultimately successful bid
for a third term in 2015 plunged the country into crisis. Violence left at least 1,200 people dead, displaced hundreds of thousands and the authorities carried out a sustained crackdown on the opposition and media.

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