News from Bujumbura, Burundi, later confirmed in a statement from the Burundian Government, indicate that Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of Burundi, has died following a cardiac arrest on June 8, 2020 at the Karusi Fiftieth Anniversary Hospital. He was 55 years old.
Following his death, the Burundian Government has announced seven days of national mourning. According to the statement by the Government General Secretary and Spokesperson, Prosper Ntahorwamiye, "on Saturday afternoon of June 6, 2020, in Ngozi, [Pierre Nkurunziza] watched a volleyball match. Later that night he felt unwell . He was rushed to the hospital. By Sunday June 7, 2020 his health had improved and he was able to interact with people around him."
Some sources indicate that he may have contacted corona virus (COVID-19). This follows the reports that his wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza, currently hospitalized The Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi is being treated for COVID-19 infection.
Pierre Nkurunziza will be remembered as one of the few African freedom fighters and leaders, who after delivering their countries from oppression, resisted to the temptations of dictatorship, quickly transitioned to democracy, and implemented a process that led to successful peaceful elections. He sought peacefull relations, with dictators of the region, including Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame (see here).
According to independent observers and based on the statements from governments around the World, through the peaceful elections, Pierre Nkurunziza and the Burundian people gave to the whole world in general, to Africa and especially to their neighbors in the countries of the African Great Lakes Region, an example of a democratic process that works and in which everyone's voice was heard.
Pierre Nkurunziza was due to hand over power to the new elected President, Evariste Ndayishimiye, in a month.