President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, 55, Dies of Heart Attack
NAIROBI, Kenya — President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi died of heart failure on Monday just weeks after a crucial election to choose a successor to replace him after 15 years of autocratic rule over the Central African nation. He was 55.
Mr. Nkurunziza’s death was announced by the government on Tuesday on Twitter. He died at a hospital in eastern Burundi after he fell ill and was hospitalized over the weekend after attending a volleyball game.
A former rebel leader, Mr. Nkurunziza ruled the country with impunity for years, arresting journalists, stifling media outlets and cracking down on opposition parties.
His reign drew international condemnation and sparked widespread protests in the tiny country, one of the world’s poorest. The International Criminal Court opened an…