Trump extends state of national emergency against Burundi
US President Donald Trump has written to the US Congress
to advise that he was extending the state of national emergency against Burundi.
The measure which restricts US travel, business and aid to a designated country was first imposed by Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2015.
It was introduced after the East African nation plunged into political crisis after President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a controversial third term in office.
An attempted coup against Mr Nkurunziza sparked civil violence that resulted in hundreds being killed and at least 400,000 people fleeing to neighbouring countries.
The White House statement said the situation in Burundi was a threat to peace in the region and to US security:
“The situation in Burundi, which has been marked by killing and other violence against civilians, unrest, the incitement of violence, and significant political repression, and which threatens the peace, security, and stability of Burundi and the region, continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
Burundi’s representative to the UN Albert Shingiro recently rejected UN investigators’ reports that found a “state of alarm and serious violations of human rights in Burundi against members of opposition and their families”.
Mr Shingiro said “Burundi issues concerns Burundians as a sovereign country” – a position supported by Russia and China.