Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has died of heart failure, the government said Tuesday.
“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… following heart failure on June 8, 2020,” it said in a post on its official Twitter account.
An evangelical who believed he was chosen by God to rule the East African nation, Nkurunziza came to power in 2005, when he was selected by parliament.
His controversial and ultimately successful bid for a third term in 2015 plunged the country into a crisis that left thousands dead.
It said the country would observe seven days of mourning beginning Tuesday.