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EU SUSPENDS DIRECT AID TO BURUNDI

The European Union (EU) yesterday announced that it has suspended direct aid to Burundi following the government’s failure to find solutions to the rising politically-motivated violence in the country.

The EU however maintained that it would still carry on with extending humanitarian aid to Burundi.

“The EU has suspended direct financial support to the Burundian administration, including budget support, but is fully maintaining both its financial support to the population and its humanitarian assistance,” the EU said in a statement.

According to The EU, the government of Burundi has not shown sufficient efforts to address concerns raised by the union.

There has been a surge of political tension and unrest in Burundi following President Pierre Nkurunziza announcement in April 2015 that he would seek a third term in office, a move that was heavily criticized by activists and oppositions figures. Nkurunziza went on to win a disputed election in July, in the face of street protests and violent clashes.

EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc would resume direct aid once Bujumbura takes “concrete measures” to resolve the outlined issues.

“The situation in Burundi remains of serious concern for the EU, though we have seen recently some glimpses of hope. Today’s decision makes clear that for our relations to be fully resumed, we expect a number of concrete measures to be carried out,” said Mogherini.

EU aid to Burundi for 2014-2020 is estimated at 432 million euros, going towards energy, rural development, public finances, health and justice reform.

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