Biden revokes executive order that imposed sanctions on Burundi in 2015 over human rights abuses, asserts country making progress

The sanctions were imposed following the killing of and violence against civilians, unrest, incitement of imminent violence, and significant political repression. 

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday revoked an executive order that imposed sanctions on Burundi in 2015, asserting that the country is moving in the right direction.

The sanctions were imposed following the killing of and violence against civilians, unrest, incitement of imminent violence, and significant political repression. 

In his executive order lifting the previous order, President Biden cited political reforms, a peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 elections and significantly decreased violence in the African nation.

“Consistent with subsection 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order that terminates the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13712 of November 22, 2015, and revokes that Executive Order,” President Biden wrote in a message he sent to the U.S. Congress.

He added, “The President issued Executive Order 13712 to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the situation in Burundi, which had been marked by the killing of and violence against civilians, unrest, incitement of imminent violence, and significant political repression. 

“In Executive Order 13712, the President addressed the threat by blocking the property and interests in property of, among others, persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to be responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, and stability of Burundi or undermine democratic processes or institutions in Burundi, or to have engaged in human rights abuses.  

“I have determined that the situation in Burundi that gave rise to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13712 has been significantly altered by events of the past year, including the transfer of power following elections in 2020, significantly decreased violence, and President Ndayishimiye’s pursuit of reforms across multiple sectors.  For these reasons I have determined that it is necessary to terminate the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13712 and revoke that order.” 

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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