US lifts sanctions on Burundi

The US has ended sanctions imposed against Burundi six years ago, citing reforms in the country.

US statement  noted that President Joe Biden had revoked an executive order that authorised the sanctions.

It acknowledged last year’s elections that brought in President Évariste Ndayishimiye and the reforms he has pursued “across many sectors”.

“We recognise the progress made by President Ndayishimiye on addressing trafficking in persons, economic reforms, and combating corruption and encourage continued progress,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

The US Treasury’s deputy secretary, Wally Adeyemo, said in a separate statement that the US would continue to press Burundi “to improve the human rights situation in the country and hold accountable those responsible for violations and abuses”.

The US and the UN imposed sanctions against Burundi in 2015 – including visa restrictions and freezing of assets of key officials in government.

It came after the country descended into chaos after President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a bid for a third term in office – despite concerns over the legality of the move.

More than 1,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others fled the country in the ensuing violence.

Nkurunziza died last year weeks after the election of President Ndayishimiye, his preferred successor.

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