Burundi's parliament urges EU to lift sanctions against Burundi

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-11 03:25:20|Editor: yan
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BUJUMBURA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The Burundian parliament's two chambers -- the National Assembly and the Senate -- have written to the European Union (EU) in a letter, requesting it to lift sanctions against the east African nation.

The letter was jointly signed by Pascal Nyabenda, Speaker of the Burundian National Assembly and Reverien Ndikuriyo, President of the country's Senate.

The letter has been written at a time when a meeting bringing together European Union (EU) countries and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries is due on June 19-21 this year.

"Burundi is now peaceful. The situation has improved since April 2015 with the failed coup plot," said the letter.

According to the parliament, the human rights situation has also improved.

"Over 10,000 criminal cases are being processed by judicial institutions whereas 2,500 inmates were released as a result of the presidential pardon at the beginning of this year," the parliament said.

The parliament indicated that over 156,000 Burundian people who had gone into exile have now returned home.

"Some political figures that had fled the country namely former President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, former Vice-President Alice Nzomukunda, former lawmakers Mathias Basabose and Joseph Ntidendereza as well as former Ambassador to Belgium Felix Ndayisenga have returned from exile," it said.

The east African country's parliament underlined that EU sanctions should be lifted because they affect citizens, adding that sectors of health, education food security and sustainable development have been affected.

In March 2016, the EU decided to cancel direct aid to the east African nation, arguing that the Burundian government had failed to properly address human rights abuses, a democratization process and a rule of law.