Burundi: EU opens consultations to address human rights violations

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The EU has requested the opening of consultations with Burundi under the provisions of Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement, namely in the event of failure to respect essential elements such as human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law. The consultation procedure will open within 30 days and will enable European and Burundian authorities to conduct a "comprehensive review of the situation to seek a solution acceptable to the parties."

FIDH, along with its Burundian partners, ITEKA and the LDGL, have actively advocated for such a step. Following the publication of a mission of enquiry report “Avoiding an explosion in Burundi” and presented to the European Union during a series of advocacy meetings, FIDH has issued a roadmap of essential actions to be undertaken and calls upon the EU and Burundian authorities to clarify an agenda of action without delay. These consultations should be carefully coordinated with those taken by the African Union into the human rights violations in Burundi. Furthermore, the EU should strengthen both its targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights violations and its support for Burundian civil society - particularly through increased emergency funding for human rights defenders in danger.

Should these consultations fail 120 days after their launch, the European Union could take "appropriate measures" up to, and including, the suspension of the whole or part of the cooperation between the EU and Burundi.

For the full press release, background and roadmap (in French), see here.

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