Francophone group puts Burundi on ice over year-long political crisis

“It’s as if la Francophonie was a god and Burundi should bow down to this denial of its sovereignty,” presidential adviser hits back

THE International Organisation of la Francophonie suspended cooperation with Burundi, citing worsening security and the East African nation’s failure to hold inclusive political dialogue to end a yearlong crisis.

The Paris-based group, which was created in 1970 to encourage solidarity between French-speaking nations, announced the decision in a statement on its website. All programmes have been suspended except those “directly benefiting the civilian population and those which may contribute to the restoration of democracy,” it said. French is one of Burundi’s official languages.

Landlocked Burundi has been rocked by unrest that’s killed more than 470 people since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to stand for a third term, a move criticized by his opponents as unconstitutional.

Presidential adviser Willy Nyamitwe criticised the organization’s move in comments posted on his Twitter account. “It’s as if la Francophonie was a god and Burundi should bow down to this denial of its sovereignty,” he said.

-Bloomberg

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