Burundi’s Parliament has passed a law imposing strict controls on international non-governmental organisations after President Pierre Nkurunziza accused such groups of backing an insurrection against him.
Mr Nkurunziza had announced the bill just after his disputed re-election in July 2015, when his crisis-hit government accused various international groups of using their funding to support the opposition.
The new law, which places tight controls on NGOs’ finances, passed Friday with an overwhelming majority of 105 votes with only one vote against the measure, parliamentary speaker Pascal Nyabenda said.
The law will force international charities and rights groups to keep their accounts in foreign currency at the central bank, with a third of their annual budget to be placed there before the government agrees to cooperate with them.
It also imposes new administration fees on such groups, which must file reports every six months on their activities or face sanctions.
Burundi’s government has been seeking to control cash still coming into its ruined economy as it struggles under the weight of sanctions from major financial backers such as the European Union, its biggest donor, for failing to halt violence in one of the world’s poorest countries.