March 15, 2016: The European Union (EU) has suspended all direct financial support to the Burundian government after an assessment that revealed that the government had not done enough to find a political solution to end the conflict that has cost over 400 lives.
The crisis was triggered by the current president Pierre Nkurunziza in his bid for a third term in office in April 2015 that resulted to a spate of violence by rebel groups on either side of the government.
The European Council that draws membership from the 28 EU countries released a statement that declared the commitment proposed by Burundi’s government was insufficient to warrant the continued financial support from the union.
At least half of Burundi’s annual budget is funded by the EU. This move by the EU will directly affect the country’s day-to-day running in addition to the already imposed sanctions of some government officials and Nkurunziza’s allies.
The EU however has asserted its commitment to the people of Burundi by preparing projects that will ensure basic services reach them by channeling resources through other agencies that aren’t the government.
To motivate the Burundian opposing parties to reach a desirable agreement that will end the violence, the decision by the EU will be reviewed every twice a year.