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COMECE: Visit by Mgr. Ntahondereye, President of Burundian Bishops. Focus of talks was on relations with EU and young people. “Reduce the sanctions”

(Brussels) “To draw the attention of the European institutions to the political, social and economic challenges Burundi is currently facing” – this was the goal of a recent visit made by Mgr. Joachim Ntahondereye, Bishop of Muyinga and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Burundi, to the Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) in Brussels. This is according to a statement released today that informs of Mgr. Ntahondereye’s meeting with COMECE General Secretary, Father Olivier Poquillon. The situation of young people in Burundi was one of the main concerns highlighted by the Bishop: “The European Union could make its support for local non-governmental actors, including religious organisations, more effective in order to create formation and employment opportunities that would empower young people to actively participate in social, economic and political life”, the Bishop said. The EU was also called upon to review those “aspects of the sanctions policy particularly affecting the most vulnerable parts of the Burundian civilian population”. Indeed, on 23 October 2017, the European Council extended for another year the series of restrictive measures imposed in 2015 on Burundi, a country where the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights are still not guaranteed.

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