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EU says ready to impose sanctions on Burundi over 'human rights violation'

Iran Press TV

Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:48PM

The European Union (EU) has expressed readiness to impose a new round of sanctions on violence-ridden Burundi if the African country "fails to remedy its human rights record."

'The EU... stands ready to impose restrictive measures against those whose actions might have led or might lead to acts of violence and repression (and) serious human rights violations,' EU foreign ministers said in a statement released during a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Giving no details of the nature of measures and the time of their implementation, the statement said the 28-nation bloc "will adopt the appropriate measures necessary in view of the lack of positive signals.'

The warnings come after peace talks between the EU and the Burundian officials on December 8, 2015 failed to find a way to end the deadly crisis in the country.

Last year, the EU imposed sanctions on Burundi that included asset freezes and travel bans for some government officials.

Burundi has been convulsed by turmoil since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his bid to compete for a third presidential term, sparking widespread protests.

The opposition stood against the move, arguing that the president's decision was in breach of the Constitution, which allows the president to run for two successive terms.

Nkurunziza's allies, however, argued that his first term did not count as he was elected by the parliament and not by direct vote.

Since then, over 400 people have lost their lives in violence with the situation worsening after Nkurunziza won the vote in last July presidential election.

In December 2015, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al Hussein expressed concern that the country risks relapsing into a civil war.

Between 1993 and 2005, around 300,000 people died in Burundi as a result of a civil war fought along ethnic lines.



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