Agoa.info - African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/Burundi: United States urges dialogue, announces additional suspension of assistance

Burundi: United States urges dialogue, announces additional suspension of assistance

Burundi: United States urges dialogue, announces additional suspension of assistance
Published date:
Thursday, 02 July 2015
Author:
John Kirby

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s continued disregard for the Arusha Agreement has resulted in dozens of deaths, the exodus of over 144,000 Burundians to neighboring countries, and a freefall in the Burundian economy causing suffering to millions of Burundians. The Burundian Government’s decision to push forward with the June 29 parliamentary elections despite the complete absence of the necessary conditions for credible elections and widespread calls, including from the African Union and United Nations, to delay the voting further exacerbated an already dire situation.

With presidential elections now scheduled for July 15, the United States joins with the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, and other regional bodies and leaders in urging President Nkurunziza to place the welfare of Burundi’s citizens above his own political ambitions and participate in dialogue with the opposition and civil society to identify a peaceful solution to this deepening crisis. This solution should include the delay of the July 15 presidential elections until conditions are in place for free, fair, and peaceful elections.

Due to the precarious political and security situation in Burundi and the Government of Burundi’s unwillingness to engage in good faith efforts to negotiate a solution, the United States has today suspended several security assistance programs on which it has cooperated with Burundi. In response to the abuses committed by members of the police during political protests, we are suspending all International Law Enforcement Academy and Anti-Terrorism Assistance training that we provide to Burundian law enforcement agencies.

Recognizing that Burundi’s National Defense Force has generally acted professionally in protecting civilians during protests, the United States continues to value our partnership with the Burundian military and urges them to maintain professionalism and respect for the rule of law. However, due to the instability caused by the Burundian Government’s disregard for the Arusha Agreement and its decision to proceed with flawed parliamentary elections, the United States is unable to conduct peacekeeping and other training in Burundi. As a result, the United States has suspended upcoming training for the Burundian military under the Department of Defense’s Section 1206 Train and Equip program, as well as training and assistance under the Africa Military Education Program. We remain deeply concerned that the current crisis will further hamper our ability to support the important contribution of the Burundian military to international peacekeeping.

Finally, during our upcoming review of Burundi’s eligibility for the trade preferences available to it under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, we will be taking into consideration ongoing violence and instability and the Government of Burundi’s lack of respect for the rule of law in determining their eligibility for these trade preferences moving forward.

 

Read related news articles

'Can Uganda wiggle out of AGOA puzzle?'

Uganda faces the possibility of being removed from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) beneficiary states thanks in no small part to what the United States calls human rights violations. This comes hot on the heels of the recent enactment of anti- homosexuality legislation in Uganda. The programme offers duty-free access to the world’s largest economy for Sub-Saharan African countries that meet democratic criteria, which is...

12 November 2023

Uganda criticises US plan to exclude it from duty-free trade programme

Uganda on Wednesday criticised a US move to eject it and other African countries from accessing a tariff-free trade programme, saying the action was to punish African countries that are resisting the imposition of the West's cultural values. US President Joe Biden said on Monday that he intended to end the participation of Uganda, Gabon, Niger and the Central African Republic in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade...

05 November 2023

Statement from USTR Tai on the AGOA eligibility review, Mauritania to be reinstated

President Biden decided to reinstate African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program benefits for one country, Mauritania, and to terminate benefits for four countries – Gabon, Niger, the Central African Republic, and Uganda – effective January 1, 2024. Based on the results of the annual AGOA eligibility review, Mauritania’s eligibility will be reinstated based on progress that it has made with respect to the 2019...

31 October 2023

Notice of intention to terminate AGOA preferences for Uganda, Gabon, Niger and the Central African Republic

Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Madam President:) In accordance with section 506A(a)(3)(B) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2466a(a)(3)(B)), I am providing advance notification of my intent to terminate the designation of the Central African Republic, the Gabonese Republic (Gabon), Niger, and the Republic of Uganda (Uganda) as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). I...

31 October 2023

** AGOA eligibility review 2023 (for year 2024): Timelines of hearings and request for comments ** [Deadline written submissions 7 July]

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is announcing the initiation of the annual review of the eligibility of sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (AGOA Subcommittee) is requesting written public comments for this review and will conduct a virtual public hearing on this matter. In...

16 May 2023

Cameroon aims to boost export revenues, rejoin AGOA - minister

Cameroon is working to boost export revenues to fend off a potential debt crisis and has relaunched talks with the U.S. to rejoin Washington's flagship trade initiative with Africa, its economy minister said on Monday. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global shocks provoked by the war in Ukraine have hit African countries hard, denting economic growth and aggravating their sovereign debt positions. The...

11 April 2023

Somalia pursues AGOA membership to bolster trade

The Somali government officially applied to join the 36 African countries on Thursday, benefiting from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The announcement was made during the Somalia AGOA application ceremony, where outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Somalia, Larry André, highlighted the United States’ commitment to expanding and modernizing partnerships in Africa and Somalia. Ambassador André emphasized that the U.S....

10 April 2023

Ethiopia asks US to reinstate AGOA trade benefits as US Secretary of State Blinken heads to Addis, Niger

Ethiopia is asking the Joe Biden administration to reinstate its duty-free access to the US market, arguing that “exceptional circumstances” warrant an immediate re-examination of its suspension just as Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Addis Ababa to discuss the cessation of hostilities in Tigray. The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) terminated Ethiopia’s participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act...

09 March 2023

US to remove Burkina Faso from AGOA effective 1 January 2023: White House

U.S. President Joe Biden revealed on Wednesday his intent to exclude Burkina Faso from a U.S.-Africa trade pact, citing a lack of progress toward protecting the rule of law and political pluralism. Biden said that Washington will terminate Burkina Faso's designation as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), starting January 2023 as it has not met"eligibility requirements." The decision...

02 November 2022

What does the US decision to delist three African countries from AGOA status imply?

Trade is one highly significant part of Africa’s story. Its pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial transitions are all marked by trade. But for many years, African trade has struggled with several challenges: poor infrastructure, high transaction costs, opportunism and unfriendly policies. So when President Bill Clinton signed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2000, African countries were given a competitive edge by...

11 January 2022

US takes Ethiopia, Mali, Guinea off AGOA program

The United States on Saturday cut Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from access to a duty-free trade program, following through on President Joe Biden's threat to do so over accusations of human rights violations and recent coups. "The United States today terminated Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the AGOA trade preference program due to actions taken by each of their governments in violation of the AGOA Statute," the U.S. Trade Representative's...

01 January 2022

You are here: Home/News/Article/Burundi: United States urges dialogue, announces additional suspension of assistance