Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye Normalizes Relations With European Union: A Major Step Forward for Burundi

General Evariste Ndayishimiye addressing EU Ambassadors in Burundi on Feb 2, 2021

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 Burundi President General Evariste Ndayishimiye, AfroAmerica Network Black Man of Year 2020 (see here),  is one of the freedom fighters who liberated Burundians from years of oppression.  Democratically elected in 2020, he was sworn in on Thursday June 18, 2020, becoming the 10th President to rule the country, but only the second to be democratically elected.  He has now made a major step and is looking forward: on February 2, 2021, his government signed a significant accord with the European Union to normalize relations that had been tense over the last five years. 

 On December 7, 2020, President Evariste Ndayishimiye met EU Ambassador to Burundi, Claude Bochu,  to discuss the proposed deal of resuming  cooperation with the European Union, after a nearly five-year suspension. The relations between Burundi Government and the EU became tense after the 2015 presidential elections, which led to the very controversial reelection of the late former President Pierre Nkurunziza.  EU suspended its cooperation with the Burundi government in March 2016, including the direct aid to Burundi, such as government budget support.

Although the EU maintained the humanitarian aid to the country, the relations continued to deteriorate, especially with the opposition leaders, supported by the Rwandan government and military and mainly based in Rwanda, fueling the tensions among the EU and the Burundian government (see AfroAmerica Network here: Burundi Desk in Rwandan Defence Forces Led by Pierre Buyoya and General Jean Bosco Kazura).

 When he became president,  referring to the tensions,  General Evariste Ndayishimiye reassured the Burundian people and the World: "Do not be afraid because I know what awaits me. I come to strengthen the independence and sovereignty of Burundi, the freedom of all Burundians and to protect them in their dignity. Let the international community no longer interfere in these kinds of issues as it used to do for other reasons, because that is my concern."

In President Evariste Ndayishimiye,  many World powers and international organizations, including The EU, The CommonWealth, The US, Russia, and China saw a change and an opportunity to resume and improve relations with Burundi.  Sources within the Burundian government told AfroAmerica Network that normalizing the relations with the European Union has also been one of the top  priorities on the agenda of General Evariste Ndayishimiye's government.
In the accord signed between the Burundi government, represented by Foreign Affairs and Development Minister  Ambassador Albert Shingiro and EU Ambassador to Burundi Claude Bochu, the two parties committed to solidifying their relations. They reminded that the relations among the two parties have historically been good until 2015 and should come back to normal, in the interests of the EU and Burundian people.
See copy of the signed press release on the accord(in French), received by AfroAmerica Network following the signing of the accord.

Burundi EU Accord 2 2 2021 8 PressRelease


 AfroAmerica Network will be reporting on the follow-ups of the accord.

@AfroAmerica Network, 2020