Belgium cuts funding for Burundi elections

APTOPIX Burundi Political Tensions

Burundi riot police detain a man suspected of throwing stones during clashes in the Musaga district of Bujumbura


Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, announced a temporary suspension of funding to Burundi June elections.

De Croo said the Belgian development cooperation had planned a budget of € 4m to fund elections in Burundi.

Only half was paid and the other half will be suspended based on the current political instability in the country.

The Election Observation Mission of the European Union in Burundi (EU EOM) reported last week that the situation could not support free and fair elections.

The African Union suggested that elections be postponed until the current political crisis is resolved.

EAC foreign ministers met President Pierre Nkurunziza ahead of a meeting by EAC leaders in Dar Tanzania this week.

Nkurunziza confirmed that he will not give up the seat until he has served a third term in office despite warnings from Rwanda, Tanzania and US.

Citizens and opposition activists accuse him of breaching the Arusha agreement that allows only two terms in office.

Protests against his third term bid have been ongoing for two weeks so far.

In reference to the above, De Croo also suspended police cooperation between Belgium and Burundi especially after reports that police was gunning down civilians on streets.

The High Commissioner for the United Nations Human Rights (OHCR) reported 11 protesters shot dead by police while many more were injured in clashes.

The budget for police cooperation amounted in total to EUR 5 million and 3 million allocated by Belgium and 2 million by the Netherlands.

$ 3 million is still outstanding and this will be suspended too.

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