Former Burundi Leader Buyoya Sentenced in Absentia to Life Term

Burundi's former president Pierre Buyoya, has been been sentenced in absentia, to life in prison for his role in the killing of the first democratically elected president, Melchior Ndadaye, during a coup d'etat which plunged the country into civil war. Buyoya a Tutsi, who is currently the African Union's representative in Mali, came to power in 1987 with the help of the army. He stepped down in 1993, when Ndadaye, a Hutu, was elected, but Ndadaye was killed just four months later. Buyoya became president again after a coup d'etat, ruling between 1996 and 2003.

Court gavel (file photo).

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