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Ex-Burundi defense minister dies in prison

Former Burundian Defence Minister Major General Cyrille Ndayirukiye has died in Prison, authoritative sources confirmed Sunday to APA in Kigali.Maj.Gen.…

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.

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