New Burundi president pledges to champion unity

New Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye takes oath of office in Gitega on Thursday. Net photo

Maj. Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye was on Thursday sworn in as the new Burundi president days after the death of his predecessor. He was elected on May 20.

The ceremony, which was administered by Burundi’s Constitutional Court judges, took place at the Ingoma Stadium in the administrative capital of Gitega.


“I will not fail the unity charter, the constitution and other laws, I will uphold unity among Burundians, peace and justice for all,” the head of state said.


Ndayishimiye, 52, was initially scheduled to take office in August this year, but the ceremony was fast-tracked to fill the leadership vacuum created by the sudden death of President Pierre Nkurunziza.


After 15 years in power, President Nkurunziza died on June 8 aged 55 from a cardiac arrest, the government of Burundi said.

About Ndayishimiye

According to available information, Ndayishimiye, commonly known as “Neva”, was a law student in the University of Burundi when the civil war erupted in 1993 following the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye.

Following the 2003 peace accord that saw FDD rebels share power with the government, the father of six was named the deputy army chief of Burundi.

In 2006 he was named minister of the interior, before becoming Nkurunziza’s military adviser and then secretary-general of the ruling CNDD-FDD party.

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