After President Nkurunziza’s death, Burundians between stunning and anxious

In shock, on Wednesday, after their sudden death by their president, Pierre Nkurunziza, the burunders wonder what the future has for them, in this country marked by deadly political crises and a long civil war.

The flags were lowered at the half-mast, Wednesday, June 10, in the economic capital of Burundi, Bujumbura, while the 11 million residents began a week-long national mourning in memory of its president, Pierre Nkurunziza, who died on Monday “cardiac arrest”, according to the government.

In shock after the president’s sudden death, in power for 15 years, Burundians wonder what the future has for their country, marked by deadly political crises and a long civil war.

Land devastated by political crisis

PierreNkurunziza’s wife Denise Bucumi returned to Bujumbura on Tuesday night from Nairobi, where she had been hospitalized since late May, a source in the Burundian Presidency told AFP on condition of anonymity. From medical sources, First Lady was treated there for Covid-19.

Pierre Nkurunziza is a great new-born sportsman and evangelical Christian who viewed his power of divine being, leaving behind a country deeply devastated by a political crisis that left more than 1,200 dead and led 400,000 burundians to exile and a poor population.

In April 2015, his candidacy for a highly controversial third term had provoked a hugely popular protest movement suppressed in the blood by security forces, thrown his country into a major crisis and forced the outing of many opponents, rights activists. man and independent journalists.

Rumors of the real cause of death

Pierre Nkurunziza would complete his mandate on August 20 and hand the baton to General Évariste Ndayishimiye, his dolphin nominated by the ruling CNDD-FDD party and declared the winner of the May 20 presidential election, despite allegations of massive fraud by his main rival. .

Members of the party were still shocked by the news of the disappearance of the man who was elevated in February to the rank of “Supreme Guide to Patriotism” and who would remain very influential within the party.

“I can’t understand how we heard that our president, who was (…) healthy Saturday, died in two days,” responded Gérard, a party activist interviewed in Ngozi (north), the late president’s home province.

This misunderstanding is also found on social networks where rumors of the real cause of death are flourishing. Some Internet users wonder if their president has not been poisoned, others if he has not been abducted by Covid-19.

President Nkurunziza and his wife have repeatedly downgraded the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in Burundi, and general elections have been held nevertheless. Pierre Nkurunziza declared on a regular basis that God was protecting the country and its people from the virus.


At the moment, the government has not yet commented on the transition of power.

According to the Burundian professor and political scientist Julien Nimubona, interviewed by the AFP, it is up to the President of the National Assembly, Pascal Nyabenda, to act in the meantime until the new elected president is scheduled for August 20.

PascalNyabenda would have been PierreNkurunziza’s first choice to succeed him. But the group of generals from the uprising during the civil war (which killed 300,000 between 1993 and 2006) and shared with the head of state about the reality of power in Burundi would have been successful by introducing the man of his choice, Évariste Ndayishimiye.

“I will not cry for him after all he did to us (…) The extraordinary executions, the torture, all this, but I regret that he died before he was prosecuted for these crimes,” a late Gertrude, a teachers who were expelled from the Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda, for their part.

Paul Kagame, president of neighboring Rwanda, with whom the Burundian regime has had unbearable connections in recent years, offered his condolences to the Burundian people and to PierreNkurunziza’s family.

The Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Africa, Niger and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister also expressed their grief.

With AFP