• April 2, 2023

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After the European Union announced it was lifting its financial restrictions towards Burundi’s government. Residents of the country’s largest city Bujumbura are relieved and hope this decision will improve the fragile economic situation.

“I think that this measure comes at the right moment and Burundi will benefit from it.”, reacted Donatien Rwasa a street vendor in Bujumbura. These sanctions had been taken more than six years ago, the EU accused Burundi of human rights violations amid mass protests. According to a news website in Brussels, the EU used to be the country’s biggest aid donor, sending out some 60 million euros per year.

“It is a measure that has caused us so much grief, but fortunately the makers of this decision have now got their act together and unconditionally lifted it, said Jacques Bigirimana, Director of the Port of Bujumbura, Now we hope that everything will go the right way and above all that the economy will grow significantly.”

The EU says the decision was taken after a “peaceful political process” in the 2020 election. In November 2021, a similar step was taken by the US.

NGOs condemned the move claiming repression in the country is alarming and Évariste Ndayishimiye’s government has shown no improvement. They are raising concerns over cases of torture and enforced disappearance.

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