"The government of the Republic of Burundi is sad to announce to the people of Burundi and the international community the unexpected death of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, president of the Republic of Burundi", a statement posted on Twitter reads.
The president died in hospital after a heart attack. He was hospitalised last week, felt better on Sunday, but experienced a sudden turn for the worse on Monday, according to the statement.
URGENT: Le Gouvernement de la République du Burundi annonce avec une très grande tristesse le décès inopiné de Son Excellence Pierre Nkurunziza, Président de la République du Burundi, survenu à l’Hôpital du Cinquantenaire de Karusi suite à un arrêt cardiaque ce 8 juin 2020. pic.twitter.com/PP46kKzAM5— Burundi Government (@BurundiGov) June 9, 2020
Pierre Nkurunziza, who was the chairman of the National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces, served three presidential terms over 15 years. His presidency was marked by numerous allegations of human rights violations.
In 2015, Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term, a decision that was slammed by the opposition as unconstitutional and sparked mass unrest in the country. Despite the nationwide protests and a coup attempt, he was eventually re-elected in July of the same year. On 7 June 2018, Nkurunziza announced that he would step down from the presidency when his current term ends in 2020.