Burundi’s President, Pierre Nkurunziza, aged 55, has died after suffering a cardiac arrest, the government says.
He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday after feeling unwell, his condition improved but on Monday he had a cardiac arrest and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, officials say.
After 15 years in power, Mr Nkurunziza was due to step down in August.
In 2015, the announcement that he would run for a third term plunged the country into chaos.
It sparked anger as some questioned the legality of a third-term bid.
There was a failed coup attempt, hundreds of people died in clashes and tens of thousands fled the country.
After a change in the constitution, he was able to run for a further term in last month’s election but he decided to retire and was to be known as the “supreme guide to patriotism”.
He was also due to receive a $540,000 (£440,000) retirement pay-out and a luxury villa.
Before the civil war, Mr Nkurunziza, who had graduated in sports education, was a teacher and assistant lecturer at the University of Burundi.
He survived the killings of 1993 when ethnic Hutus were targeted at the university and joined the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) rebel group.
He emerged as its leader and after the 2003 peace deal, Mr Nkurunziza was named minister of interior before parliament elected him president in August 2005.