The government of the East African Community nation of Burundi has declared a full week of mourning in honour of departed president Pierre Nkurunziza. The President of Burundi, according to reports from the State House, died last night due to cardiac arrest.
According to a statement from the State, the president was admitted to a hospital on Saturday after “not feeling well.” They further reported that he appeared better on Sunday, however, owing to what they referred to as a “very great surprise,” his health abruptly worsened on Monday morning, and several hours of effort failed to revive him.
The late Nkurunziza took office as President of Burundi in 2005 and has been at the helm since then. A rather unpopular decision to run for a third term in 2015 led Burundi into turmoil that left hundreds of people dead.
After facing allegations of abuses and crimes against humanity, Nkurunziza ensured that Burundi avoids that scrutiny by becoming the first country to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Last month, Burundi went to the polls and Burundi’s confidant Evariste Ndayishimiye was voted into office. He is awaiting swearing in.
His wife, First Lady Denise, was 10 days ago reported to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is currently receiving medication in Nairobi.