Brussels, 9 February 2022 (TDI): The European Union has decided to lift the sanctions on Burundi which were placed as a result of Article 96 within the ACR-EU Partnership Agreement. This announcement was made on their Twitter earlier as follows:
— 🇪🇺EU at UN-NY (@EUatUN) February 8, 2022
The decision to implement and impose restrictions was taken by the council in 2016 and resulted in cutting the flow of direct financial aid to the administration of Burundi.
Given the reversal of this action, the cooperation between the EU and Burundi will be able to resume to the way it had been prior to restrictions.
The decision taken by the EU was due to the conflict-free and peaceful nature of the political process that took place with the general elections in May of 2020, which also resulted in the opening of new opportunities for the public of Burundi.
Following the electoral process of 2020, the EU has taken into consideration the work being done by the government of Burundi in terms of key areas of good governance, rule of law, and, human rights.
They have also acknowledged the steps taken by the administration to design a long-term road map with regards to the development plans for various regions of the nation. This road map is known as ‘Feuille de route’.
In response to such developments, there has already been an influx of refugees in the country who have voluntarily made their decision to come into Burundi. Likewise, international cooperation along with negotiations with neighboring countries has resumed.
However, the country is still yet marked by a wide variety of challenges within the domains of good governance, human rights, rule of law and, reconciliation.
With the support brought forward by the current political dialogue between the EU and Burundi, such issues can be resolved and the lives of the populations within Burundi are presented with an opportunity for improvement.
The EU is already working with other international organizations and partners, all of which are more than ready to extend support for the ongoing efforts made by the government of Burundi in terms of re-stabilizing.
Moreover, they are ready to support the consolidation of the democracy within the country, creating further roadmaps for future developments, establishing rule of law, and promoting human rights.
Why such restrictions were imposed?
According to the events of 2015, specifically the 2015 presidential and legislative elections consecutively that occurred in the summer, it was noted by the European Union that the Republic of Burundi did not comply to essential elements listed in Article 9 within the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, specifically in terms of human rights, rule of law and democracy.
As a result of such actions, the Council proposed a procedure that has carried forward the restrictions; this was the Decision 2016/394. As a result of these restrictions, the EU Council proposed a number of factors that the government of Burundi could improve in order to lift the aforementioned sanctions.