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Belgian MP kicks against signing of EU trade deal with Burundi

International agreements

The European Union’s trade deal with Burundi might suffer some delays as a member of the European parliament has raised reservations about the process.

Belgian socialist MP Marie Arena is on a campaign to stop the signing of a trade deal with Burundi citing human rights violations in that country.

The Trade Committee of the European parliament has given the green light for the signing of an economic partnership agreement with five countries in east and central Africa including Burundi.

But Bujumbura has been under EU sanctions since its controversial election of 2015 which saw the re-election of Pierre Nkurunziza as president for a third term.

Burundi is said to have violated the Cotonu agreement signed in 2000 recognising human rights as an essential component of the Europe-Africa partnerships.

Marie Arena argues that trade must be a way to help development as well as democracy and not the opposite.

Arena hopes to rally enough members to block the procedure at the September vote in the European parliament.