BUJUMBURA, Burundi – Burundi's government says former President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza has died in Belgium, where he received medical care for two weeks.
Philippe Nzobonariba, a Burundian government spokesman, said Wednesday that "the nation has lost a great figure and tireless worker." He said Burundian flags will fly at half-mast for three days to mourn Bagaza.
Col. Bagaza, 69, ruled Burundi for over a decade between 1976 and 1987 after seizing power by force. His regime was marked by a period of relative stability. He was deposed in a bloodless coup.
In recent years Bagaza had taken part in some Ugandan-mediated efforts to end violence in Burundi stemming from President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision last year to seek a third term. Hundreds of people have been killed in the current unrest.