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Friday, 19 February 2016

Troubles in Burundi: the EU is preparing to suspend its aid

The 28 European Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who will meet in Brussels on Monday, are to approve a text that acknowledges the failure of talks between the EU and Burundi on human rights and announces "the forthcoming adoption of appropriate measures", stated a diplomat. With total aid of around 430 million Euros for the period 2015-2020, the EU is Burundi's largest source of aid. The planned measures consist of a "suspension of the EU's cooperation programme with the Burundi authorities and of all aid actions concerning the allocation of funding to Burundi", the diplomat explained. "They are currently being prepared and should be taken during the course of this month", he added, stressing that humanitarian actions directly benefiting the people of Burundi would be maintained. The EU and Burundi held talks in December requested by Brussels in response to the serious violence affecting this small country in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Burundi has been plunged into a deep political crisis since the candidacy was announced at the end of April 2015 of President Pierre Nkurunziza - re-elected in July - for a third term of office. The clashes have already resulted in more than 400 deaths and caused over 230,000 people to flee the country, including numerous opposition members, community activists and journalists, according to the UN.

Source: Angola Press Agency