“Post-Cotonou EU-Burundi relations: the need to maintain international pressure to tackle ongoing human rights violations”, Camille Martin (Egmont, Belgium)

Since its independence, Burundi has been the theatre of violence and human rights violations that have left the population severely traumatised. A small landlocked country in central Africa, its internal dynamics, characterised by decades of political instability, insecurity, widespread poverty and poor human rights record, have constantly put Burundi in the list of Africa’s most fragile countries. Hopes for a democratic Burundi built on the multi-party inclusive system embedded in the Arusha agreement (August 2000), started to fade away with the boycott of the presidential elections by almost all the opposition parties at the 2010 elections. The repression of the popular demonstrations that followed the announcement of President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third mandate in 2015, in violation of the provisions of the Burundian constitution, subsequently raised important concerns for the direction the country was embarking on, away from the values of peace, security and development for all enshrined in the peace agreement signed in Arusha to put an end to decades of violence and instability.

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