- Title: Burundi's ex-president to be buried in state funeral
- Date: 26th June 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Kirundi) MOURNER AND RESIDENT OF MUSHASHA, BEATRICE NTIZIKUMWE, SAYING: "It is difficult for us to hold back. Really, I really knew him well. Sorry, sorry (crying). He was a man who made us happy, but thank God we can hold on to the memory." VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS IN THE CROWD (SOUNDBITE) (Kirundi) MOURNER AND RESIDENT OF GITEGA, CELESTIN NINCUTI, SAYING: "When I see how we have returned to the roots of our country, how we are welcomed back so well, living together well in this country, we are in pain, all Burundians are in pain. Really, let his excellency go in peace." CROWDS IN STADIUM CHRISTIAN PRIESTS
- Embargoed: 10th July 2020 11:50
- Keywords: Burundi Gitega stadium Pierre Nkurunziza buried state funeral
- Location: GITEGA, BUJUMBURA AND GOZI, BURUNDI
- City: GITEGA, BUJUMBURA AND GOZI, BURUNDI
- Country: Burundi
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA004CK0BUPZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands of Burundians arrived at a stadium in the capital Gitega on Friday (June 26) to attend the funeral of former president Pierre Nkurunziza.
Nkurunziza, who ruled the country for 15 years, died at the aged 55 on June 9, of what the government said was "heart failure".
His body is expected to be escorted under heavy security for a state funeral after his sudden death earlier this month.
Few in the crowds filling the stadium were wearing face masks. Most were dressed in white, as requested by the authorities.
Mourner Beatrice Ntizikumwe, wept as she said: "He was a man who made us happy but thank God we can hold on to the memory."
Burundi's economy is mired in poverty and cut off by international donors after the United Nations documented the widespread rape, torture and murder of political opponents by ruling party activists and state security forces.
Nkurunziza had been due to stand down in August, making way for retired general Evariste Ndayishimiye who won an election last month and was sworn into power on June 18 in Gitega.
(Production: Guy-Clovis Siboniyo, Nazanine Moshiri, Paul Warren)
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