Rwanda's last king, Kigeli V, dies in the US at age 80

Monday October 17 2016

The last king of Rwanda, Kigeli V, who died on

The last king of Rwanda, Kigeli V, who died on Sunday aged 80. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AFP
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WASHINGTON

The last king of Rwanda, Kigeli V, died early Sunday, his official website said. He was 80.

Born Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa in Kamembe, the monarch went into exile in 1960 after clashing with the Belgian colonial power.

In 1961, the monarchy was abolished.

Kigeli V lived in exile in several African countries before settling in the suburbs of Washington, DC, in 1992.

While in the United States, he led the King Kigeli V Foundation to aid Rwandan refugees.

Details of his death were not immediately known.

A 2013 profile of the ex-monarch in the Washingtonian magazine, found him living in subsidised housing, on food stamps and donations, in Oakton, Virginia, happy to hand out chocolates to neighbours’ children.

"They call me the King of Africa," Kigeli said of the neighbours, in that report.

"Ah, it's good."

For decades he spoke of returning to his east African homeland as monarch.