Dear High Representative,
Dear Foreign Ministers,
As the Council of the European Union (EU) and its preparatory bodies review the situation in Burundi and related EU policy, the undersigned organizations wish to express their concern that the EU and some of its member states appear willing to overlook the lack of meaningful human rights progress and widespread impunity for past and ongoing serious human rights violations in the country.
Despite a series of recent one-off gestures by the Burundian government regarding public freedoms, the Council should maintain its position that sustainable and tangible progress regarding the opening of political and civic space and the fight against impunity are necessary to address fundamental human rights concerns in Burundi. The EU should not rely on promises of human rights reforms from the Burundian authorities, and insist instead that they meet concrete benchmarks proving their commitment to ensuring accountability and embarking on a human rights- respecting path.