Outgoing Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza, is dead.
He was 56.
The shocking news was confirmed by Government on Tuesday evening.
“The Government of the Republic of Burundi announces with great sadness the unexpected death of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi,” the statement issued in French reads in part.
Government said the Nkurunziza died in hospital following a cardiac arrest.
The development, which will send shockwaves across the region, comes after a peaceful election that saw Burundi’s ruling party candidate, Gen Evariste Ndayishimiye elected president.
Gen Ndayishimiye was expected to officially take over power from Nkurunziza on August 20.
Regional countries and western democracies hailed Nkurunziza for facilitating the peaceful handover of power.
Government said in a statement that Nkurunziza was admitted to hospital this past Saturday after feeling unwell.
On Sunday, Nkurunziza’s condition improved but worsened on Monday.
Doctors worked around the clock to revive him in vain.
Burundi has since announced seven days of mourning to honour the life of the departed President.
A former rebel leader, Nkurunziza had led Burundi for 15 years.