Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza dies at 55

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza dies at 55
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza after an Africa Union-sponsored dialogue in an attempt to end months of violence in the capital Bujumbura, February 27, 2016. REUTERS/Evrard Ngendakumana/File Photo

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has died aged 55 years.

Reports indicate that he died at the Karusi Fiftieth Anniversary Hospital following a cardiac arrest on June 8, 2020.

“He watched a volleyball match on Saturday afternoon in Ngozi but became unwell later that night. He was rushed to hospital and by Sunday his health had improved. He was able to interact with people who were around him,” a statement from the Government Spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye reads.

Burundi is the only African country that did not stop playing of sports games during the coronavirus pandemic.

The country also recently held their presidential elections which saw the governing party candidate, retired General Evariste Ndayishimiye, win with 69 percent of the vote.

On Monday afternoon, President Nkurunziza’s health deteriorated drastically: doctors are said to have tried to resuscitate him for several hours but to no avail.

“Burundi has lost a son, a President and a key figure of patriotism. He was an example to the people of Burundi as someone who respected God. I urge Burundians to remain calm and continue praying for the soul of the President,” the Government Spokesman said.

The Burundian Government has announced seven days of national mourning and the country’s flags will fly half-mast during this period.

Recently, Nkurunziza received global backlash for doing little to stop the spread of coronavirus in his country.

Earlier this month, a top World Health Organization (WHO) representative and three other experts who were coordinating coronavirus response were ordered to leave the country.

Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza, Burundi’s First Lady is currently admitted at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi after she reportedly contracted coronavirus.

Sources indicate that Mrs. Nkurunziza, was airlifted to Nairobi from Bujumbura, flying in on an AMREF plane.

Her condition remains unknown.

The number of coronavirus cases in Burundi have so far been reported to be 83 with one person succumbing to the disease.

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