Former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya, who is the current High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel, has rejected his conviction in absentia in Burundi to life imprisonment.
He was convicted of the murder of his predecessor Melchior Ndadaye in 1993.
Melchior Ndadaye, Burundi’s first democratically elected president and the first Hutu to come to power, was assassinated in October 1993 in a military coup that led the country into a civil war between the army.
This resulted in 300,000 deaths until 2006.
Buyoya was convicted of an attack against the head of state, an attack against the authority of the state and an attack tending to bring about massacre and devastation.
Eighteen senior military and civilian officials close to the former head of state were given same sentence. Three others were sent to 20 years in prison for “complicity” in the same crimes and only one, the former transitional Prime Minister, Antoine Nduwayo, was acquitted.
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