Former Burundian Defence Minister Major General Cyrille Ndayirukiye has died in Prison, authoritative sources confirmed Sunday to APA in Kigali.Maj.Gen. Ndayirukiye was among a group of 28 officers and others on trial for their part in the attempt to topple the late President Pierre Nkurunziza, who plunged the nation into a crisis in 2015 with his bid for a third term which he secured in a disputed vote.
The coup was launched on May 13 by military officers led by Major General Godefroid Niyombare, the former intelligence chief, while Nkurunziza was abroad. It was swiftly quashed.
The General has been languishing at Gitega prison where he had been detained since May 2015.
During the trial, Ndayirukiye told the court that those behind the coup “acted within the Arusha agreement and in a bid to protect the population,” a reference to the Arusha peace accords that ended Burundi’s civil war in 2005.
According to this witness, moments before his death, “He was hanging out some laundry he had just washed himself when he got dizzy. But he didn’t fall, a fellow prisoner was able to support him. “
“One side of his body was paralyzed. He won’t get up. He died between 3:30 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. He may have had “extreme anointing from a priest,” according to an authoritative source.