The International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) decided to partially suspend its multilateral cooperation with Burundi due to “lack of progress” of political dialogue in the country ravaged by crisis for nearly a year.
In a statement released on Friday, the Permanent Council of the organization chaired by Canadian Michaelle Jean, in a Council session on Thursday in Paris, announced the reinstatement of the Central African Republic (CAR) in its body, saluting “the responsibility showed in its government transition process.”
CAR organized successful elections in the past few weeks after three years of sectarian violence that ravaged the country.
But for Burundi, members of the Permanent Council “deplored the deterioration of the security situation and absence of progress in the establishment of a truly inclusive political dialogue despite significant continued efforts by the international community,” said the statement.
“They therefore decided to suspend multilateral Francophonie cooperation deployed in Burundi, with the exception of programmes directly benefiting the civilian population and those which may contribute to the restoration of democracy.”
Burundi has not officially reacted to the announcement, but the head of presidential communication, Willy Nyamitwe, posted a tweet denouncing a “comedy” of “bad taste”.
“As if #Francophonie was a god and that #Burundi should bow down to this denial of its sovereignty,” he added in a second tweet.
Burundi was plunged for nearly a year in a deep political crisis, revived from the desire of President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in power for a third term.
The violence has claimed more than 400 lives and forced more than 250,000 people to leave the country.