Memoranda of November 9, 2016 – Burundi

On November 9, two memoranda were issued on the topic “Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Burundi”. One is a Letter and the other a Notice.  The letter is addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. The Notice is the official statement of the action to continue the previously established national emergency declaration as a result of conditions in Burundi.

Apparently in certain circumstances, the president believes it necessary or useful to send a letter to the Congress justifying a particular action. It appears from this instance, that notice of the action is included as an enclosure with the letter.

In this case, the action is a continuation of Executive Order 13712 of November 22, 2015 that “…declared a national emergency to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the situation in Burundi, which has been marked by the killing of and violence against civilians, unrest, the incitement of imminent violence, and significant political repression, and which threatens the peace, security, and stability of Burundi.”

In the notice, the president states: “The situation in Burundi continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” He therefore believes it necessary to continue the declaration of national emergency.

Since I am unaware of the situation in Burundi, it is impossible to know if this action is justified, but like many actions of our elected leaders, I will trust the president’s judgment on this one, and not consider this an over reaction or overreach/abuse of authority.




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