Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued a defence against sanctions imposed on African and Caribbean countries, warning that such decisions could hurt cooperation.
Speaking in Brussels, Belgium, President Kenyatta said affected regions should be consulted before sanctions are imposed.
He referred to EU sanctions on African countries like Burundi and Eritrea that he said had made it difficult for cooperation with the European body.
“The unilateral application of measures, including sanctions, by the EU, as imposed on Eritrea and Burundi, has created sensitivities and concerns within our group,” the President said in an address to the Committee of Ambassadors of Countries under the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).
Another issue of concern, he said, is the blacklisting of countries that have yet to pass laws to manage or control financial transactions and deal with money laundering.
The European Commission, under Directive (EU) 2015/849, Article 9, usually identifies high-risk third countries having “strategic deficiencies in their regime on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing,” according to a bulletin from the European body that argues this blacklisting is aimed at protecting “the integrity of the EU financial system”.
A decision reached last month listed Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Botswana among African countries considered “high risk” to the EU financial system. President Kenyatta, who is the President-in-Office of the Summit of the OACPS, said the EU did so unilaterally.