The European Union suspended direct financial aid to Burundi’s government, including budget support, as the political crisis in the East African nation nears its 12th month.
The EU is taking the move even as it’s “fully maintaining” financial support to Burundi’s people and its humanitarian assistance, the council said in a statement on its website. Direct support will resume after the government in Bujumbura expresses its backing for multi-party dialogue mediated by the East African Community. The talks seek to end unrest sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision last April to run for another term.
“The EU is, and will remain, firmly committed to supporting the Burundian people in this crisis, which has already cost more than 400 lives, left thousands injured and forced over 240,000 people to take refuge in neighboring countries,” European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said.
The EU and Burundi have been holding talks since Dec. 8 under the terms of the Cotonou agreement, a trade pact. The discussions ended Monday, according to the statement.