The Community of East African States (EAC) calls on the European Union (EU) to lift sanctions against Burundi. This call is contained in a statement signed on Wednesday by Peter Mathuki, Secretary General of this regional structure.
The Community of East African States (EAC) is joining forces to defend Burundi against the European Union sanctions. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the regional organisation called for the lifting of « sanctions against Burundi because it has already opened a new page, » it said.
According to Peter Mathuki, Secretary General of the Community of East African States, « EU sanctions against Burundi are not only hurting Burundians but the people of the entire region. I call on the European Union to lift the sanctions against Burundi and open a new page for the betterment of the Burundian people, » he said.
Since March 2016, the European Union has suspended direct financial support to the Burundian administration, including budget support. This sanction followed, among others, cases of human rights violations during the third term of the late President Pierre Nkurunziza. The accession of Evariste Ndayishimiye to power brought a new breath in the lifting of these sanctions, but until then, they are still in force.
The declaration by the Community of East African States comes after several meetings between Gitega and the European Union. In April, the Burundian Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that it was pursuing steps in « the framework of the normalisation of its ties » with the EU.
After an exchange with the Burundian authorities, Claude Bochu, the European Union ambassador to Burundi, welcomed « the warm and constructive climate of this political dialogue », according to his twitter page. During the same month, the Burundian authorities and the European Union « agreed to continue the exchanges in order to achieve concrete results, » said Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro.