Former Burundi President, Buyoya Dies From COVID-19 At 71

Former Burundi President, Buyoya Dies From COVID-19 At 71

 

 

 

Burundi’s former president Pierre Buyoya has died in Paris of Covid-19 at the age of 71, relatives said Friday, just weeks after he resigned as the African Union’s special envoy to Mali and the Sahel.

Buyoya, who was credited with helping push democracy in the small African country but was accused of involvement in his successor’s assassination, was hospitalised in Mali’s capital Bamako on Wednesday, a family member told AFP.

“He was evacuated to Paris yesterday afternoon. His plane made a stopover and arrived in France in the evening,” the family member said, requesting anonymity.

“He died as the ambulance took him to hospital in Paris for treatment” on Thursday night, the source added.

Several other relatives confirmed the death of Buyoya, who served as the AU’s special envoy to Mali and the Sahel from 2012 until November this year.

He resigned in late November after being sentenced the month prior to life imprisonment in Burundi over the 1993 assassination of his successor.

He said it was “a political trial conducted in a scandalous manner” and that he resigned “in order to have full freedom to defend myself and clear my name”.

Buyoya was sentenced in absentia over Ndadaye’s assassination, along with about 20 military officials and civilians who were also given sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment.