Parliamentarians demand EU to lift sanctions against Burundi

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On 12 May 2017 saa 12:38
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The Burundian parliament urges ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to propose a draft resolution requesting the lifting of sanctions imposed upon Burundi. According to these parliamentarians, the political and security situation has improved significantly.

Both the upper and lower chambers of the parliament appeal to the EU and the member states to take into account all the achievements of the Burundian government in improving the human rights situation since 26 April 2016.
According to the Burundian parliament, the sanctions imposed on Burundi have greatly affected the population in all areas of life especially in the domains of economy, education and health.

Tatien Sibomana, a member of the opposition party UPRONA, says he does not support the sanctions that victimize the Burundian people. However, UPRONA party denounces the violation of the international conventions and pacts ratified by the Burundian government.

The European Union has decided to impose sanctions against the current government of Burundi accusing it of the violation of Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement. The latter stipulates that any country appealing for aid must meet the principles of democracy and human rights.

“Since the outbreak of the current crisis in April 2015, the EU has assessed the situation in Burundi and found that state institutions have violated Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement,” Sibomana says.

For him, it will be difficult for Burundian parliamentarians to convince ACP and EU MPs that human rights are respected in Burundi. “The international community has been following closely the crimes and serious violations of human rights that have been committed in Burundi for more than two years,” he says.

This political opponent refers to the reports by the national and international organizations about human rights violations, targeted assassinations, enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary arrests as well as more than 400,000 Burundians refugees exiled abroad.

Siboman worries that the persistence of these sanctions will only worsen Burundians’ living conditions which were already poor. Sibomana asks Burundi parliamentarians to urge the government to comply with the law before demanding the lifting of those sanctions. “The government has not yet found a solution to the causes of those sanctions,” says Sibomana.

Jean de Dieu Mutabazi, the chairman of RADEBU party accuses the EU of neglecting the efforts made by the government to prosecute coup plotters who attempted to overthrow the democratically elected institutions. “They are responsible for crimes and human rights violations committed in Burundi following the failed coup attempt,” says Mutabazi.

He calls on the EU to be neutral when taking decisions on Burundi. “We have realized that the EU is in favor of coup plotters and the radical opposition of the current government,”