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La Francophonie resumes cooperation with Burundi

Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye, left, and his wife Angeline Ndayubaha, right, attend his inauguration in Gitega, Burundi, Thursday, June 18, 2020. President Evariste Ndayishimiye took power two months early after the abrupt death of his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza. (AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza)

 

The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) decided Friday to lift the suspension of its multilateral cooperation with Burundi, decided in 2016, because of “recent political developments” in this East African country.

The Permanent Council of La Francophonie which brings together the representatives of the 88 member states of the OIF “took note and welcomed the request of the Burundian authorities to lift the measure to suspend multilateral cooperation in favor of this member state”, indicates the organization.

The decision will be formally adopted in autumn 2020.

OIF cooperation with Burundi had been suspended in 2016 while the country was going through a deep political crisis born of the desire of President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in power.

The crisis had left 1,200 dead and forced some 400,000 Burundians into exile.

Since then, Pierre Nkurunziza, who had agreed to hand over the ballot in the May elections, suddenly died on June 8, at the age of 55.

His successor, Évariste Ndayishimiye has launched some signs of openness for the international community and could seek to get his country out of its isolation, which is so economically damaging.

His government remains dominated by the hardliners of the regime and is part of a certain political continuity.

Burundi is ranked among the three poorest countries in the world by the World Bank, which estimates that 75% of the population lives below the poverty line, against 65% when Mr. Nkurunziza came to power in 2005. .

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