The European Union on Tuesday said it was lifting its financial sanctions against Burundi.
It cited a more open political climate and the return of refugees in the central African country under new President Evariste Ndayishimiye.
The sanctions were imposed in 2016 after the late President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to pursue a third term in office, which triggered deadly street protests.
“The Council decided today to repeal its decision taken in 2016, which imposed on Burundi measures such as the suspension of financial support and disbursements of funds directly to the Burundian administration or institutions,” the EU’s 27 governments said in a statement.
“The 2016 measures included budgetary support. With the repeal, the EU will therefore be able to restart this kind of cooperation with Burundi,” the statement said.
The EU said the decision was based on more peaceful politics in the country, noting general elections of May 2020 that “opened a new window of hope for the population of Burundi.”
It however noted that persistent challenges remained “in the areas of human rights, good governance, reconciliation and the rule of law”.
President Évariste Ndayishimiye who has marked a shift away from the repressive stance of his late predecessor welcomed the decision and said the country was ready to cooperate with all partners.