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Burundi’s Outgoing President Dies from Heart Attack

The government’s statement on Pierre Nkurunziza’s death said he had been well enough on Saturday to assist during a volleyball match in his home district of Ngozi but was admitted to a hospital in a neighboring district on Sunday. His condition improved Sunday night but took a sudden turn on Monday when he suffered a heart attack. The statement asked people to remain calm and announced seven days of mourning. Nkurunziza’s wife, Denise, was airlifted to Nairobi 10 days ago and is being treated for the coronavirus symptoms, according to Kenyan media reports. Health officials in Kenya and Burundi have not commented on whether the president had been tested for the novel coronavirus. Nkurunziza had recently agreed to step down after a 15-year rule that was characterized by brutal crackdowns and economic stagnation. His chosen successor won an election last month that was marred by irregularities. According to the country’s constitution, the president of the legislature should take control of the government until the inauguration of Évariste Ndayishimiye, scheduled for Aug. 20, who won the election.