The individuals are said to have been involved in perpetrating “acts of violence, repression or incitement to violence, including acts which constitute serious human rights violations”, according to a statement by the EU published on Thursday.
As detailed in the EU’s Official Journal on Friday, the travel ban and economic sanctions apply to:
- Godefroid Bizimana: “Deputy Director-General of the National Police, responsible for undermining democracy by making operational decisions that have led to a disproportionate use of force and acts of violent repression towards peaceful demonstrations”
- Gervais Ndirakobuca, alias Ndakugarika: “Head of Cabinet of the Presidential Administration (Présidence) responsible for matters relating to the National Police. Responsible for obstructing the search for a political solution in Burundi by issuing instructions that led to disproportionate use of force, acts of violence, acts of repression and violations of international human rights law against protestors demonstrating”
- Mathias-Joseph Niyonzima, alias Kazungu: “Officer of the National Intelligence Service. Responsible for obstructing the search for a political solution in Burundi by inciting violence and acts of repression during the demonstrations”
- Léonard Ngendakumana: “Former ‘Chargé de Missions de la Présidence’ and former army general. Responsible for obstructing the search for a political solution in Burundi by participating in the attempted coup d'état of 13 May 2015 to overthrow the Burundi Government”
President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to stand for a third term in office earlier this year sparked protests and a subsequent violent crackdown on demonstrators. In May, a group of army officers led by renegade General Godefroid Niyombare launched a failed coup attempt.
The UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has warned about a rise in killings, arrests and detentions in Burundi.
“Almost every day, dead bodies are found lying on the streets of some of Bujumbura's neighbourhoods,” he said in a statement Monday.
"In many cases, the victims appear to have been killed by a bullet fired at close range. The bodies sometimes show signs of torture and are typically found with their hands tied behind their backs," he said.