Rwanda’s Last King, Kigeli V, Reported Dead At Age 80

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Rwanda’s Last King, Kigeli V, Dies In US At Age 80

Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa, King Kigeli V, the last king of Rwanda has died in the United States. He was 80.

Kigeli V, who ruled the east African nation for less than a year before being forced into exile, finally settling in the United States, died on Sunday morning, according to information on his official website.

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Details of his death have not been released.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we announce that His Majesty King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, the last King of Rwanda, died early this morning,” read a statement on his website.

“He was a devout and dedicated believer and the last anointed African Roman Catholic king to reign over a full country.”

“Funeral arrangements and details on the heir to the throne will be announced at a later date,” the statement said.

He came to power in 1959 but was only king of Rwanda until 1961, when the monarchy was abolished and he was forced into exile.

King Kigeli was the last in a line of monarchs from the minority Tutsi ethnic group, which had dominated Rwandan for many years, but the Belgian former colonial power favoured the majority Hutus and backed a coup.

Rwanda was proclaimed a republic in 1961, and a Hutu, Dominique Mbonyumutwa, was made president.

Thousands of Tutsis were forced into exile including King Kigeli, who lived the rest of his life outside Rwanda.



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