THE Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Dr Peter Mathuki has appealed to the European Union (EU) member states to lift sanctions against the Republic of Burundi, noting that the country had opened a new page and was ready to move forward.
Dr Mathuki said that the EU sanctions on the East African were hurting not only Burundians but the people of the entire region.
"I appeal to the EU that we work together and open a new page for the betterment of the people of the Republic of Burundi," said Dr Mathuki.
Speaking during a high level discussion with the EU Delegation to Tanzania on how to enhance EU support to the integration process in East Africa, Dr Mathuki underscored the importance of EU to work with the region as a bloc, thereby enabling the Community attain its objectives in the integration process.
The European Union (EU) imposed sanctions against the Republic of Burundi in 2015 at the height of internal crisis in the country following the late President Pierre Nkurunziza's extension of tenure.
At the same occasion, the EAC Secretary General and his team had an opportunity to share different areas of integration priorities seeking support from the EU programming 2021-2027.
The priorities include Increasing space for the Private Sector in the EAC integration; Enhancing EAC regional governance institutional capabilities in peace building taking into account the inclusive, accountable and democratic governance of the region; as well as strengthening regional coordination, preparedness and response to epidemics, pandemics including COVID-19, and public health emergencies in the EAC region among others.
The Head of EU Delegation to Tanzania, Amb Manfredo Fanti assured the Secretary General of EU's commitment to work closely with EAC and commended the Secretariat for the good work that has led to the attainment of several achievements.