The President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza has died at the age of 55 after suffering a cardiac arrest ober the weekend.
According to BBC, Nkurunziza was admitted to hospital on Saturday after feeling unwell, his condition improved but on Monday he had a cardiac arrest and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, government officials say.
Nkurunziza’s death comes just weeks before he was due to step down following Evariste Ndayishimiye’s electoral victory last month — in a vote the sitting president did not contest.
Nkurunziza assumed power on August 26, 2005 and was reelected in 2010 with more than 91% of the vote, albeit with the opposition boycotting the election.
He won a controversial third term in 2015 that led to conflict and hundreds of deaths in Burundi as supporters and opponents argued over whether he was entitled to seek a third term.
There was a failed coup attempt, hundreds of people died in clashes and tens of thousands fled the country.
After a change in the constitution in May 2020, he was able to run for a further term in last month’s election but he decided to retire and was to be known as the “supreme guide to patriotism”.