- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2015

President Obama slapped sanctions Monday on four current and former officials of Burundi for actions contributing to violence and unrest in the central African nation.

In an executive order, the president froze assets and imposed visa restrictions on Burundi’s minister of public security and a leader of its national police, as well as the former chief of the country’s intelligence service and its former defense minister.

A White House national-security official said the actions come as Burundi sits “on the precipice.”

“We have received multiple, credible, and ongoing reports of targeted killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, and political repression by security forces, as well as violence and abuses by youth militia affiliated with the ruling party,” said National Security Council spokesman Ned Price. “Recent dangerous rhetoric by government officials has further contributed to the climate of fear and risks inciting further violence.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Obama suspended Burundi’s eligibility for a preferential trade program and halted all training programs for Burundi’s military in advance of an election that resulted in President Pierre Nkurunziza winning a disputed third term.

The U.S. opposed his decision to run again, saying the move violated a peace agreement ending a civil war that killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Since the election, hundreds more people have been killed and more than 200,000 have fled the country.

Mr. Price said the U.S. is considering more sanctions.

“We call upon all parties in Burundi to reject violence, and we will continue to investigate and impose consequences against leaders from the government or opposition who resort to violence and obstruct a political resolution to this crisis,” he said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide