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Former Burundi King to be buried in Switzerland

Local News // Nov. 2, 2016
Former Burundi King to be buried in Switzerland

After a 4 year legal battle, the remains of the former King of Burundi are to be buried in a cemetery in Meyrin in Geneva, in accordance with his last wishes.

The remains were exhumed in 2012 to be repatriated to Africa, but a niece of the late King opposed the transfer.

Mwambutsa IV had been in exile in Switzerland since 1966 and died here in 1977. In his will, he asked that his remains were not transported to Burundi at any price.

His daughter, supported by the Government of Burundi, wanted to give her father a state funeral and had the body exhumed for repatriation to Africa.

The authorities argued that there are strong tensions in the country and and the funeral would have started a healing and reconciliation  process within the population.

But the Court of Justice said the public interest has not been established, particularly in light of the current political situation in Burundi and the repatriation would also have contravened his wishes.

In a statement, the niece of the former king of Burundi said she was satisfied with the decision.

"Uncle, Mwambutsa IV,” she said “was very perceptive and anticipated that his remains could have been manipulated and used to provoke passions.”

Tags: king, Burundi

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