Burundi President, Pierre Nkurunziza, is dead at the age of 55, after suffering a cardiac arrest, the government says.
He 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, officials say.
“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, at the Karusi Fiftieth Anniversary Hospital following a cardiac arrest on June 8, 2020,” the government said.
Nkurunziza’s death comes just ten days after his wife Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza was airlifted to Nairobi after contracting COVID-19.
After 15 years in power, Mr Nkurunziza was due to step down in August.
In 2015, the announcement that he would run for a third term plunged the country into chaos.
It sparked anger as some questioned the legality of a third-term bid.
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, 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”.