Burundi government in breach of EU aid terms – European Union “deplores” arrest of Alexis Sinduhije
Acclaimed opposition activist Alexis Sinduhije has been detained without charge since November 3rd
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From South Africa’s Independent Online:
Bujumbura – The European Union condemned on Monday the arrest of opposition leaders and activists in Burundi and warned the central African country that such action violates the terms of EU aid to Bujumbura.
In a statement received by AFP, the European Union said it was “surprised” to hear that opposition leader and former journalist Alexis Sinduhije and 37 members of his party were detained on November 3.
“The EU deplores this detention, which comes as journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, trade unionist Juvenal Rududura and several former lawmakers are also held without trial,” it said.
“The EU considers that these arrests do not comply with the democratic and pluralist values which underlie the important years-old economic and social partnership between the EU and Burundi.”
Last week Britain said the arrests raised “concerns about the ability of Burundians to exercise their civil and political rights”, while the US embassy in Bujumbura called them “unacceptable”.
Sinduhije, 42, founded Radio Publique Africaine in 2001 in a bid to foster reconciliation between Tutsi and Hutu communities.
He became one of Burundi’s most prominent journalists, before he launched the Movement for Security and Democracy in December 2007 and vowed to run for the presidency in 2010.