Burundi urges Belgium to replace envoy

Burundi has demanded the replacement of Belgian ambassador to the African country, citing the loss of confidence by the Burundian government in the European diplomat.

“Through a verbal note, the government of Burundi asked its counterpart for the replacement of the Belgian ambassador to Burundi since it has no more confidence in him,” said Permanent Secretary in Burundi’s Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation Salvator Ntacobamaze on Monday.

The official, however, did not provide further explanation on the decision.

A Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman slammed Burundi’s move as “unfriendly,” saying Brussels has not yet decided on any course of action. He added, however, that his country intends to keep communication channels open with the Bujumbura government.

Brussels had on Friday summoned Burundi’s ambassador to the European country to clarify earlier reports on Bujumbura’s withdrawal of the accreditation of Belgian Ambassador to Burundi Marc Gedopt.

Ties between the two countries have deteriorated since Belgium announced earlier this month that it would halt some aid to Burundi in protest at a controversial move by President Pierre Nkurunziza to secure a third term.

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza (front) is seen during his inaugural speech on August 20, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Belgian aid for its former colony amounted to nearly 50 million euros (56 million dollars) in 2013.

Burundi plunged into turmoil back in April when Nkurunziza announced his bid to compete for a third presidential term, a move the country’s opposition said violated the constitution and a peace deal that brought the nation’s civil war to an end in 2005.

Despite deadly protests against his decision across the Central African country, Nkurunziza managed to win a third presidential term in a controversial July election.

Source: Press TV