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The East African : Oct 10th 2015
16 POLITICAL CRISIS Burundi raises red flag over sanctions Ruling pa≥ty says t≥avel ban against some o∞cials may a≠ect conciliation e≠o≥ts By TREVOR ANALO The EastAfrican FDD has warned that the European Union sanctions against three top officials may derail efforts to resume dialogue between the government and the opposition. A fortnight ago, the EU imposed B a travel ban and asset freeze on four Burundians for allegedly blocking peaceful attempts to resolve the country’s nearly six-month-old conflict. In addition to the EU sanctions on senior officials, Belgium announced suspension of about $60 million in aid to Burundi, whose budget is 52 per cent donor-funded. Some Western countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, also suspended aid, while the United States is currently reviewing the eligibility of Burundi in Agoa, which earns the country close to $3 mil- urundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza’s ruling party CNDD- lion in foreign exchange annually. Godefroid Bizimana, deputy po- lice chief, and Mathias-Joseph Niyonzima, a senior Cabinet official, are among those affected by the sanctions. The other two are an intelligence officer and Leonard Ngendakumana, one of the generals who led the failed coup bid. “CNDD-FDD is surprised by the provocative sanctions applied by the EU to exclude some Burundians without [requesting] the concerned to explain and defend themselves before national courts or the EU,” the ruling party said in a statement. The party warned that the President Nkurunziza recently signed a law that establishes a national commission to spearhead reconcilition Burundians fleeing the country to Tanzania. Picture: File EU sanctions will “divide Burundians instead of encouraging them to reconcile” and “torpedo government efforts to bring everybody around the dialogue table.” Foreign Minister Alain Nyamit- we criticised the sanctions, saying Bujumbura does not believe in “domination of southern nations.” CNDD-FDD said that instead of targeting state officers, the EU should “prosecute the coup leaders sheltered in some European Union member countries or repatriate them to be tried in Burundi.” Attempts by the international community to bring the government and the opposition to the negotiating table have failed. The president’s allies have on several occasions insisted on an internally led process. President Nkurunziza recently signed a law that establishes a national commission to spearhead reconcilition. The 15-member commission, which includes three religious leaders, three political actors and two representatives from civil society organisations, has been criticised for not being representative enough. Both parties to the crisis have not met since Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni botched mediation in July, and opposition leaders have fled to neighbouring countries and Europe. President Nkurunziza’s govern- ment recently issued arrest warrants against them for allegedly organising the violence. The EastAfrican NEWS OCTOBER 10-16,2015 Police begin guns mop-up By HAVYARIMANA MOSES Special Correspondent Burundian authorities have intensified efforts to disarm civilians after president Pierre Nkurunziza issued a two-month ultimatum to all illegally armed groups to lay down their arms. However, police officers have also been attacked during night patrols by armed groups, with the government accusing some civil society and opposition groups of perpetrating the killings. “We have seen an intensification of operations allegedly aimed at seizing illegal weapons in specific neighbourhoods in Bujumbura and in other parts of the country, while young adults seem to be particularly targeted,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Mr Hussein said the youth are being accused of intending to join rebel groups based in neighbouring countries. At least 11 people were killed last week, eight of them in Cibitoke — the Bujumbura suburb that has been a hotspot of protests against President Nkurunziza’s third term — police said. Grenade explosions and gun batin the Burundian tles continue capital as citizens worry about the increased insecurity.
Oct 3rd 2015
Oct 17th 2015