Burundian government has dispatched 38th and the 39th battalions to the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to replace 32nd and 33rd battalions which returned home after a year in Somalia, under AMISOM, the army spokesman has said.
“Since the beginning of this month, we are sending two battalions made up of 1,700 peacekeepers to the AMISOM and another 200 soldiers at the AMISOM headquarters for the Burundian contingent,” said Burundian Army Spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza.
He added, “Since 2007 when Burundi started sending peacekeepers to Somalia, achievements are numerous. The situation was chaotic in 2007 with Al Shabaab terrorists shooting aircrafts at Mogadishu Airport, but now the traffic is high at the airport, maritime activities are underway and traffic on roads is also normal thanks to efforts of peacekeepers from Burundi and other countries,” said Col Baratuza.
Burundi is one of the troop-contributing countries to AMISOM, mandated to support the Federal Government of Somalia in defeating Al-Shabaab.
Since December 2007, the east African nation has deployed six rotating battalions in Somalia.
The Burundi National Defence Forces are responsible for keeping security in Sector 5, which comprises areas such as El Baraf, Mahaaday, Balcad, Helman, Walshiq and Quorolow.
The troops are also present in sector Kismayo as part of a multinational military deployment.
Other troop contributing countries are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.