Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has died at age 55.
He reportedly died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
According to a government statement, he was admitted to the hospital on Saturday after feeling unwell, but had a cardiac arrest on Monday, and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Last month, his wife was in Kenya for coronavirus treatment. The country held presidential election despite COVID-19.
The virus arrived late in Burundi. This was attributed to “God’s protection”.
“Do not be afraid. God loves Burundi and if there are people who have tested positive, it is so that God may manifest his power in Burundi,” the presidential candidate for the ruling CNDD-FDD party, General Evariste Ndayishimiye said after the country had three cases.
“If there have been three cases here… I’m told they are doing well, and know the coronavirus is killing people everywhere else,” he told supporters at a political gathering last week, to hearty applause.
Mr Nkurunziza was due to leave office in August after a controversial 15-year term. He took office under a power-sharing deal following a 12-year civil war which left 300,000 people dead.