European Union Finally Lifts Financial Sanctions On Burundi

European Union Lifts Financial Sanctions On Burundi

By Uganda Online Media

Kampala: The European Union on Tuesday said it is resuming financial assistance to Burundi’s government, citing a “peaceful political process” since the 2020 election that it said “opened a new window of hope” for Burundians.

The EU suspended financial aid to Burundi’s government in 2016 over concerns about a violent political conflict in the East African nation.

“Today’s decision to lift restrictions is a result of the peaceful political process that started with the general elections of May 2020 and which has opened a new window of hope for the population of Burundi,” the Council of the European Union said.

That statement noted, however, that “challenges remain in the areas of human rights, good governance, reconciliation and the rule of law.”

The United States in November terminated its sanctions on Burundi, citing “changed circumstances and positive political developments” there.

The United Nations Human Rights Council suspended the mandate of its commission of inquiry on Burundi, and the EU delegation in the country agreed to resume political dialogue with local authorities.

But rights groups insist Burundi’s government has shown little if any improvement under President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who took office after the death of President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2020 with talk of reforms after years of deadly political crackdowns.

They say that people still are being “disappeared,” charges that the government denies.

In a case that drew even Ndayishimiye’s attention, well-known CNL opposition figure Augustin Matata was seized in November and held by the country’s intelligence services. He died in December after being tortured, which Burundi’s National Human Rights Commission acknowledged in an unusual move.

And in December, the U.N. Committee Against Torture deplored Burundi’s lack of cooperation, saying the committee had received 14 torture complaints against the government since 2014.

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