Lead EEAS spokesperson
Despite the efforts of the international community, and in particular the recent initiative of President Museveni with a view to facilitating an inter-Burundian dialogue, it seems clear that insufficient progress has been made in implementing the decisions adopted by the African Union on 13 June and by the East African Community on 6 July. Only by implementing those decisions in full would it have been possible to hold credible and inclusive elections in Burundi yielding representative results. In going ahead with the elections, the government has decided otherwise.
In the absence of a meaningful national dialogue which could lead to a political consensus, Burundi will be unable to return to the path of stability, democracy and development which started with the adoption of the Arusha Agreement. The EU will therefore launch the preparatory work for specific consultations as provided for in Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement in order to ensure that the Burundian government makes the commitments necessary to remedy the crisis. Respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law is an essential element of the cooperative relationship between the EU and Burundi, which is governed by the Cotonou Agreement.
The EU urges the government and the opposition parties to resume the dialogue in order to achieve a consensual outcome which will lead to the re-establishment of an inclusive and democratic political system. The EU fully supports the efforts being made to that end by the East African Community, the African Union and the United Nations.
The European Union is deeply concerned about the humanitarian, socioeconomic and security-related impact of the crisis in the country and in the region as a whole. In that context, we welcome the dispatch by the African Union of human rights observers and military experts to oversee the disarmament of the groups affiliated to the political parties. The European Union commends the generosity of neighbouring countries in sheltering refugees from Burundi and reaffirms its solidarity with the Burundian people and with the host communities, including through the mobilisation of humanitarian aid for the thousands of refugees.
The EU notes that violence cannot be used for political ends and once again calls on all stakeholders and political leaders to both condemn and discourage it. In particular, this refers to the activities of the armed groups, such as the recent attacks in the province of Kayanza. In line with the Council conclusions of June 2015, the European Union is preparing to adopt, where necessary, restrictive measures targeted at those whose actions might have led or might lead to acts of violence and repression and to serious human rights violations, and/or which might hamper the quest for a political solution.
The Candidate Countries Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this Declaration.
* Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.