Third countries align with recent EU sanctions

EU3Chemical Weapons: 

Last month, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544, which established a new sanctions regime targeting the use and proliferation of chemical weapons (see previous blog). 

The following countries have aligned themselves with that Decision: Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Norway, and Georgia. See EU Press Release. 

Moldova, Rep of Guinea & Burundi:

Last month, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1610, Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1611, and Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1612, which extended for 1 year (respectively) the EU’s sanctions on Moldova, the Republic of Guinea, and Burundi (see previous blog).

The following countries have aligned themselves with all 3 Decisions: Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. 

Moldova and Armenia have aligned themselves with the Decisions concerning the Republic of Guinea and Burundi.

Georgia has aligned itself with the Decisions concerning Moldova and the Republic of Guinea.

Serbia has aligned itself with the Decision concerning the Republic of Guinea. See EU Press Releases: Moldova, Republic of Guinea, and Burundi.

US extends Burundi sanctions

White House2In November 2015, the US adopted Executive Order 13712, which declared a national emergency in respect of Burundi (US asset freezes and travel bans were imposed on persons contributing to the situation in Burundi).

Last week (16 November 2018), President Donald Trump extended those sanctions for 1 year by continuing the national emergency as declared. See White House press release.

EU extends Rep of Guinea, Moldova & Burundi sanctions for 1 year

EU6

The EU has extended for 1 year its sanctions in respect of:

EU renews Burundi sanctions

EU2The EU announced today that it has renewed its restrictive measures against Burundi for another year, until 31 October 2018. The measures apply to 4 people “whose activities are deemed to be undermining democratic governance and obstructing the search for a peaceful political solution in Burundi”, including “acts of violence, repression or incitement to violence and acts which constitute serious human rights violations”. The EU considered that “the absence of progress in the situation in Burundi justified the renewal of the sanctions for another year”. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1933, amending Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1763.

The EU has published a Notice for those on the Burundi list, renewing their inclusion in the Annex to Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1763 (as amended) and in Annex I to Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1755. The Notice explains that they can submit a request to the EU Council before 2 July 2018 for a reconsideration of their inclusion, and can challenge the Council’s listing decision in the EU General Court.

EU renews Burundi sanctions

The EU has decided to renew its sanctions relating to Burundi until 31 October 2017.  The sanctions impose asset freezes and travel bans on four people whose activities were said to be undermining democracy or the search for a political solution to the crisis in the Burundi, following President Nkurunziza’s disputed re-election (see previous blog).

In its press release, the EU Council stated that the absence of progress in the situation concerning the 4 sanctioned people justified the renewal of the sanctions.  See Decision 2016/1745 amending Decision 2015/1763.

US adds 3 to its Burundi sanctions

The US has sanctioned two pro-government officials and one member of an armed opposition group in Burundi for threatening Burundi’s peace, security, or stability.  US sanctions on Burundi have been in force since the start of its political crisis last year, following the election of President Nkurunziza to a disputed 3rd term (see previous blog).  The 3 people are:

  1. Marius Ngendabanka – Military commander, said to be involved in “purification” operations against those opposed to the president’s 3rd term.
  2. Ignace Sibomana – A member of the Burundian security forces linked to the president’s inner circle, said to have supported the commission of extrajudicial killings.
  3. Edouard Nshimirimana – A former senior Burundian army officer who leads the FOREBU rebel group, which armed itself by conducting attacks on military camps that led to 87 people reportedly being killed.

In the US Treasury’s press release, Acting Director of OFAC John Smith said that the Treasury “is committed to disrupting this destructive behaviour that has such harrowing consequences on the Burundi people”, and is being engaged in by “both sides of the conflict”.

OFAC implements US sanctions on Burundi

OFAC has issued new regulations to implement Executive Order 13712, which was signed in November 2015 and blocks the property of people and entities who contribute to the turmoil in Burundi, including by threatening its peace and security, undermining its democratic processes, and committing human rights abuses (see previous blog).  Assets belonging to designated people and entities will be frozen, and US persons will be prohibited from doing business with them.

The EU introduced targeted sanctions on Burundi in October, and stated in February that it was ready to extend them to “those whose actions might have led or might lead to acts of violence and repression, serious human rights abuses, or might hamper the search for a political solution” (see previous blog).

EU may extend Burundi sanctions

The EU imposed sanctions on Burundi in October 2015 (see previous blog). It has now said that it “stands ready” to extend those sanctions to “those whose actions might have led or might lead to acts of violence and repression, serious human rights abuses, or might hamper the search for a political solution”.  The announcement comes in light of the EU’s continuing concern at the reports of human rights abuses in Burundi, some of which are said to involve its security forces. The EU press release is here.

In October 2015, the EU imposed targeted sanctions on 4 Burundian nationals whose activities were said to be undermining democracy, through violence and serious human rights violations, following President Nkurunziza’s disputed re-election.  In order to “keep open the channels of dialogue”, President Nkurunziza was not himself sanctioned.