Belgium cuts aid to Burundi government as EU sanctions hit

2015-10-02 22:19
Pierre Nkurunziza. (File: AFP)

Pierre Nkurunziza. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - Former colonial power Belgium said on Friday it would halt some aid to the government of Burundi in protest at President Pierre Nkurunziza's disputed third term as leader of the central African country.

Separately, the European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes agreed earlier this week on four officials close to Nkurunziza who are accused of using excessive force during clashes in the run-up to his re-election in July. .

Under agreements that ended a civil war in 2005, presidents were limited to two terms in Burundi, an ethnically divided country of just over 10 million people that has suffered months of violence and unrest since Nkurunziza said he would run again.

Belgium, from which Burundi gained independence in 1962, said it was immediately halting aid programmes benefiting the government, including its support for the justice system.

International human rights

It said it would switch these funds to other programmes to help Burundians, for example via aid groups. Belgium will continue to finance health care initiatives.

"Aid that we know for sure will benefit the population will be kept," said Alexander De Croo, minister for development aid.

Belgian aid for Burundi was just under $55.8m in 2013, most of it going directly to the state.

The EU, which funds about half the annual budget of Burundi, is also considering whether to limit its aid, diplomats said, but is wary of hurting ordinary people.

Under the EU sanctions list published on Friday, European governments agreed to impose asset freezes and travel bans on the president's chief of staff, Gervais Indirakobuca, accusing him of "obstructing the search for a political solution" and "issuing instructions that led to ... acts of violence, acts of repression and violations of international human rights".

A national intelligence officer, a former general and the deputy head of the national police are also on the EU list.

Read more on:    belgium  |  pierre nkurunziza  |  burundi  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.