Burundi: gov’t dismisses US sanctions

SANCTIONS AGAINST GOV'T OFFICIALS DONT MAKE SENSE: Willy Nyamitwe, Burundi government Spokesman

SANCTIONS AGAINST GOV’T OFFICIALS DONT MAKE SENSE: Willy Nyamitwe, Burundi government Spokesman

The Burundian government has dismissed recent announcement of sanctions against two officials saying the decision is misguided because it’s punishing the very people who thwarted the May 13 attempted coup.

In a press conference Thursday, Willy Nyamitwe, the President’s Communication Advisor applauded US sanctions against two masterminds of the failed coup but castigated those targeting the current public security minister and the deputy director general of the National Police.

“Condemning the coup leaders, that’s welcome, but putting them (current government officials) in the same box with those who fought against the coup, that’s unacceptable. It’s believing in one thing and its opposite,” Nyamitwe said.

He said instead of aiming its sanctions at government officials, the US government slap sanctions on individuals and organisations arming civilians, terrorizing the population by shooting and throwing grenades in nightclubs, households and against security forces.

“This is unfriendly diplomatic move but which is the outcome of calumny that Burundi has been facing for several months, a campaign led by a high official in President Obama’s office, Ambassador Samantha Power,” the government spokesman added.

Willy Nyamitwe singled out US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power for sharp criticism saying she is “part of the Burundi crisis as regards her relations with one of the violent opposition leaders, Alexis Sinduhije.”

Bujumbura’s response follows President, Barack Obama’s recent Executive Order detailing sanctions against Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, the Minister of Public Security and Godefroid Bizimana, deputy director general of the National Police; and two masterminds of the May 13 failed coup, Major General Godefroid Niyombare, former head of National Intelligence Services (SNR), and Cyrille Ndayirukiye, former Minister of Defense for their role in fuelling the current crisis.

Cyrille Ndayirukiye has been in custody in custody of the Burundian Security agencies since May while Major General Godefroid Niyombare is on the run.

The four Burundians will be subjected to US travel ban and asset freeze, according to the new executive order.

President Obama pledged to continue to investigate and impose further sanctions against government or opposition leaders inciting violence and obstructing the possible political resolution to the crisis.