Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza believed he was chosen by God to lead the east African nation and he did so with an iron fist, his efforts to stay in power plunging the country into chaos in his final years.
Nkurunziza's efforts to seek a third term in 2015 plunged Burundi into a spiral of violence that killed 1 200 people, displaced hundreds of thousands and left most of his critics silenced or exiled.
Nkurunziza, from Burundi's majority Hutu ethnic group, was born in 1964 to a wealthy family, the son of a member of parliament.
"Nkurunziza indeed believes he is president by divine will... and he therefore organises his life and government around these values," presidential spokesman Willy Nyamitwe once said.
The last months of his life were marked by his denial of the gravity of the coronavirus epidemic, and he claimed less than two weeks ago that Burundi was saved from the virus due to "the hand of God".