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The government of Burundi, which has been in a serious political crisis for more than two years, has violently attacked the European Union, accusing it in a statement read to the national radio and television that it participated and financed the destabilization of On the basis of documents showing that the EU had financed Burundi’s exfiltration of human rights defenders whose lives were threatened. Brussels on Wednesday (June 7th) denounced “false accusations”.
For Bujumbura, these documents are proof that the European Union has financed as of 2014 those who orchestrated the destabilization of Burundi a few months later. An allusion to the crisis arising from the challenge of the third term of President Pierre Nkurunziza.
“In these documents in circulation, it is reported that the European Union has financed the natural or legal persons involved in the political destabilization of Burundi and currently under arrest warrant issued by the Burundian judiciary” Government spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba said on Tuesday.
What is meant in the eyes of the government is the idea that the EU would be behind what the government calls an attempt to ” effect a change of regime in Burundi “, that is to say, the coup attempt May 2015.
“Erroneous interpretation” of the support program
The European Union reacted on Wednesday night and categorically rejected what it called ” false accusations” “. One of its spokespersons explains that this is an all official program, the aim of which is to help defenders of rights in difficulty.
“Obviously we have never tried to destabilize the country,” Catherine Ray refutes. The European Union formally rejects these false accusations of Burundi’s destabilization. They are based on an erroneous interpretation of a program of support for human rights that we have carried out in the country. The European Union’s foreign policy is based on the promotion of human rights throughout the world, so it is a very general policy applied to all our partner countries, in particular to the protection of human rights. People who defend human rights. We, therefore, believe that, in order for the crisis in Burundi to be resolved, it is necessary to take account of ongoing or past human rights violations and protect those who work in this way.
“My family has been seriously threatened”
These funds were used to ex-filter Burundi from 2014 several human rights defenders or their families, whose lives were in danger. Among those who have benefited from it, the Nininahazwe Pacific family – his wife and five children – is one of the leading figures in Burundian civil society at the head of the third-term challenge, seen by Bujumbura as one Its main opponents.
He explained that his family was under threat of death because he had already announced his intention to ” fiercely oppose the third illegal mandate ” of President Pierre Nkurunziza.