The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Peter Mathuki on Tuesday June 8th, 2020 called on the European Union (EU) to lift sanctions on Burundi that were imposed in 2015.
This comes as the EAC Secretary General held a high level discussion with the representatives of the EU to Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on how to enhance their support towards the East African integration process.
“I appeal to the EU that we work together and open a new page for the betterment of the people of the Republic of Burundi,” said Mr. Mathuki.
The EAC Secretary General said that EU sanctions on Burundi were hurting not only Burundians but the people of the entire community.
This comes at a time when the EU and Burundi political dialogue is at an advanced stage in efforts to normalize the relations between the two countries.
EU suspended direct aid to the Burundian government in 2015 after reports indicated gross human rights violations by the Burundian authorities during the violent protests that led to more than 1000 people losing their lives.
The resumption of the political dialogue came as EU through the Cotonou agreement suspended aid to the Burundian government, Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement which provides the legal basis of suspension of the agreement following a period of dialogue in cases where one of the parties’ feels that the agreement’s essentials, and fundamental elements are not respected that includes human rights abuses and activities that undermines democracy.
Early this year significant steps have been taken between Burundi and EU to normalize the relations, Burundi’s foreign affairs minister Albert Shingiro visited EU Headquaters for the first time in almost five years.