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US lifts Burundi sanctions citing progress under Ndayishimiye

By Julian Pecquet
Posted on Thursday, 18 November 2021 19:20, updated on Friday, 19 November 2021 16:41

76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City
Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye speaks at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 23, 2021. Mary Altaffer/Pool via REUTERS

President Joe Biden on Thursday lifted sanctions on Burundi, citing democratic progress over the past 18 months under President Evariste Ndayishimiye.

Then-President Barack Obama had declared a national emergency with regard to Burundi on 23 November 2015 after President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid for a third term sparked a coup attempt and post-election violence that killed some 1,200 people and displaced another 400,000.

The declaration handed the US president executive powers to sanction members of the Burundian government and the opposition, including current Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni and Chief Police Commissioner Godefroid Bizimana.