The United States is gravely concerned about the ongoing crisis in Burundi and the potential for additional violence and has imposed new targeted sanctions against four individuals whose actions threaten the peace, security, and stability of Burundi.
More than 100 people have been killed since the crisis started while more than 100,000 has been displaced. The unrest started when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to vie for a controversial third term despite demands that he step down.
In statement issued by t he Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control relating to the situation in Burundi, the US put more sanctions on Burundi nationals bringing the total number individuals sanctioned under the Executive Order to eight.
‘ ‘We continue to support efforts to hold those accountable who violate and abuse human rights and undermine stability in Burundi.’’ Reads statement issued by Mark C. Toner , Deputy Department Spokesperson
The move comes at time when violence and killings continue in Burundi. This has attracted global concern. The United Nations gave Burundi government 96 hours to respond to their resolution. Meanwhile, the African agreed to send a 5,000 strong peace keeping force to Burundi with or without consent of Burundi government.
The US warned that any effort to promote violence or provide outside support to armed elements in Burundi, or to sanctioned individuals, is unacceptable and can lead to additional sanctions under the Executive Order. We encourage authorities in the region to fully investigate any and all reports of recruitment of Burundian refugees and outside support to Burundian armed elements.
Our senior officials remain engaged at the highest levels with regional leaders to support immediate, internationally-mediated peace talks. The United States continues to call upon Burundian President Nkurunziza, his government, and the opposition to de-escalate tensions, refrain from further violence, and fully participate in talks. We stand ready to support the African Union and the region in taking all necessary steps – including possible deployment of an intervention force – to prevent further violence and achieve a consensual, political resolution to this crisis.
Burundi is among the poorest countries in the world, with Four out of five Burundians live below the poverty line, and 58 per cent of the country’s 10 million people are chronically malnourished.