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EU Renews Burundi Sanctions Until October 2018

The European Union on Monday renewed sanctions imposed against Burundi for another year, until October 2018.

The sanctions include a travel ban and asset freeze against four officials who were accused of impeding democracy and the search for a political solution to the crisis.

“On 23 October 2017, the Council renewed the EU restrictive measures against Burundi for another year until 31 October 2018. These measures consist of a travel ban and asset freeze against four persons whose activities are deemed to be undermining democratic governance  and obstructing the search for a peaceful political solution in Burundi.

These activities include acts of violence, repression or incitement to violence and acts which constitute serious human rights violations,” the body said.

In a statement released by the Council of the EU, the body is concerned by “information on continuing extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, forced disappearances, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and gender-based violence, including sexual violence committed in Burundi since April 2015.”

Burundi descended into chaos in April 2015 following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s declaration that he would run for a controversial third term in office, one that he went on to win in the July poll.

Hundreds were killed in the violence that rocked the small East African nation, with thousands others displaced.

The EU in its statement said the renewal of the sanctions was prompted by an absence of progress in the situation in the country.

“The Council considered that the absence of progress in the situation in Burundi justified the renewal of the sanctions for another year,” it said.

Since the turn of the year, the Burundi government has been assuring its citizens that peace has returned to the country, and has been urging those who sought refuge in neighbouring countries to return home.

A repatriation exercise in August saw hundreds of Burundians return to their country from Tanzania, and the government is hopeful all its citizens will continue returning home.

Read full statement here; EU Statement

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