Attention Media Houses: For Immediate Release

10 June 2020

Media Statement on the Passing of the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) would like to express its condolences to the family, friends and compatriots of the outgoing President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza.

The government of Burundi announced the passing of the President Nkurunziza yesterday, Tuesday 9 June 2020, following a short illness.

President Pierre Nkurunziza came to power in 2005 following a decade of civil war that ended with the signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in 2000 and the Global Comprehensive Accords in 2003 in which former South African President Nelson Mandela played a key role.

Despite his decision to run for a third term in office in 2015 and the political tensions that followed, it is also believed that President Nkurunziza was instrumental in transforming the political landscape from a period of bloody ethnic violence to a new one marked by political competition beyond ethnic cleavages.

His reconciliation policy was based on the belief that sport and community can work as tools to promote social cohesion.

During this difficult period of mourning the people of Burundi are going through, it is important that peace is preserved by all and that the transition of power to the successor of President Nkurunziza is smooth.

IJR wishes Burundi and its people courage, peace and a breakthrough.


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