Pierre Buyoya, a former President of Burundi has died at the age of 71, the country’s government announced on Friday.
Buyoya died on his way to receiving medical treatment in Paris, the French capital. Unconfirmed reports say he was sick as a result of the COVID-19 infection.
A Tutsi, he twice seized power in the country, and spearheaded a civil war that killed at least 300,000 Burundians.
Buyoya’s death has come two months after being convicted in absentia by a court in Burundi over the murder of his successor. The death of his successor, Melchior Ndadaye led to years of civil war in the country.
Before his demise, Buyoya worked as an African Envoy in Mali where he stayed before his death. He ruled Burundi for thirteen years in two separate terms between 1987-1993 and 1996-2003.
Buyoya left his role as the head of the AU Envoy in Mali and the Sahel after a Burundi Supreme Court in October, jailed him for life, in absentia.
The feared former leader staged various coups in the country and was a notorious figure during his lifetime.
Earlier in June, the sitting Burundian President at the time, Pierre Nkurunziza died as a result of a suspected COVID-19 infection.
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