Politics

EU encourage dialogue with Burundi

Wolfram Vetter, EU Ambassador to Burundi: “Let’s talk and work together in order to restore confidence that both Burundi and the EU will benefit from”

On the occasion of the celebration of the Europe Day this 9 May, Wolfram Vetter, the EU Ambassador to Burundi has admitted that the relations between Burundi and the European Union have not been harmonious over the past three years.

He argues that opportunities were not always seized in political terms.
Mr Vetter wishes Burundi and the EU to restore trust between them. “Let’s talk and work together in order to restore confidence that both Burundi and the EU will benefit from,” he says.

Bernard Ntahiraja, Assistant of the Minister of Foreign Affairs who represented the government said the latter is open to dialogue with its various partners but on condition that the laws governing the sovereignty of the country are respected.

He accuses the EU of taking unjustly and unilaterally economic sanctions against Burundi. “Burundi deplores the fact that the EU has taken unjust and unilateral sanctions against our country since 2016,” said Ntahiraja.

In order to push Burundian authorities to engage in dialogue with the opposition after the crisis that erupted on 26 April 2015 following the decision of President Nkurunziza to run for the 2015 elections for his own succession, the EU has decided since 14 March 2016, to suspend its direct financial aid to Burundi government accusing it of not doing enough to end the crisis.

Nevertheless, the EU has maintained its financial support to the population and its humanitarian aid. With an overall support of some € 430 million for the 2015-2020 period, the EU is still Burundi’s biggest donor.