Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza Has Died
(Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The 55-year-old outgoing president died of heart failure on Monday.

Pierre Nkurunziza, the president of Burundi has died of heart failure. His death was confirmed on Tuesday via a Tweet from the Burundian government. He was 55.

The outgoing president reportedly suffered a heart attack at Karusi hospital in Eastern Burundi on Monday. According to the New York Times, he was hospitalized after falling ill at a volleyball game. In late May, his wife Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza sought out treatment in Kenya after being infected with the coronavirus, which has led others to believe that President Nkurunziza may have had the disease as well.

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Nkurunziza, who came into power of 2005, was accused of suppressing political opponents, censorship and carrying out various human rights abuses throughout his extended presidency.

"His death highlights the urgency for the many victims to know the truth about the crimes committed during his presidency and who was responsible," said Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "As long as these abuses go unpunished, this dark legacy will hang over Burundi for many years to come."

After 15 years under Nkurunziza, Burundians elected a new leader last month, the retired general Evariste Ndayishimiye Nkurunziza was set to finally leave office in August of this year. Burundians headed to the streets in protest, and insisted on holding the election despite the threat of coronavirus.

We'll keep you updated as we learn more.

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