Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza, aged 55, has died suddenly after suffering heart failure, ” the authorities said on Tuesday.
Nkurunziza initially started to feel unwell after attending a volleyball game on Saturday, also seemed to be advancing before he took a turn for the worse on Monday when his heart stopped, the presidency said in a statement.
“Despite intense efforts, the medical staff was unable to rescue the patient,” said the announcement, adding that physicians had spent a few hours attempting to revive him.
His departure comes two weeks before he was expected to step down after 15 years as the nation’s leader.
The statement in 2015 which he’d run for a third semester plunged the nation into chaos, resulting in protests and a failed coup.
After his successful election, the nation was gripped by anxiety with rights groups frequently denouncing crackdowns on the opposition and the press.
Following May’s election that he chose to retire, even though he might have run for another term as a result of changes in the constitution.
His hand-picked successor Evariste Ndayishimiye has been chosen as his replacement a month.
Nkurunziza came into power in 2005 and fought to get the ethnic Hutu rebellion throughout the nation’s 1993-2006 civil war with all the minority Tutsi-dominated military.
Nkurunziza’s wife, first woman Denise Bucumi, is now recovering from the coronavirus at a Nairobi hospital after being evacuated late a month.
The nation will now see seven days of mourning to mark his passing, according to the announcement from the presidency.