WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 11) - The President of Nauru, Bernard Dowiyogo died at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

Dowiyogo, who was 57, had undergone an eleven-hour heart operation on Mar. 4.

A Nauru Government spokesperson said the United States Air Force has agreed to fly Dowiyogo’s body back to Nauru for a state funeral service. The plane is expected to arrive in Nauru on Sunday.

Dowiyogo, who has been a diabetic for 30 years, underwent coronary artery bypass surgery in Melbourne in 2001 and required alternate day dialysis.

His Melbourne doctor told AAP that he collapsed while on official business in Washington and was rushed to the hospital.

In January, he replaced Rene Harris as President.

It was sixth time since 1976 that he had been Nauru’s President

Dowiyogo was in Washington to meet with U.S. officials to discuss their concerns about international money laundering by Nauru’s offshore banks. The president had agreed to close the banks down.

New elections are to be held in Nauru next month.

March 11, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment