A two-block building with sanitation offered by the British government has officially been received by Burundi Minister of National Defense and Former Combatants at Gakumbu Camp this 8 March 2014.-Yves Didier Irakoze
Mark Simmonds British Minister in Charge of Relations with Africa was present during the inauguration ceremony. “The present ceremony is a manifestation of the Ministry of National Defense and Former Combatants to express its satisfaction for the good relations between our two people in general and our two armies in particular,” states the Ministry of National Defense Brigadier-General Pontien Gaciyubwenge. He indicates that the presence of the United Kingdom has been marked by its contribution in the implementation of Burundi Revenue Authority and its functioning. It has supported Burundi very much into the EAC integration process. It has also helped to train Burundian soldiers in pre-deployment of operations for peacekeeping. To accompany the support for the mission of peacekeeping, the United Kingdom funded the construction of the simulation training village in the operations of peacekeeping commonly called Bakara Maket at Mudubugu. Furthermore, it constructed an advanced training base at the entrance of Gakumbu camp. “We are now inaugurating a two- block building with sanitation and 4 classrooms for soldiers in pre- deployment with a donation of a vehicle to solve the problem of getting the injured to hospital very quickly. This is an addition to other kinds of support like the Rukaramu Camp electricity installation for disabled soldiers and the construction of their playgrounds, training of interpreters…,” states the Minister. He adds that all this contributes to the capacity building of members of the National Defense Force in their effectiveness during their different missions of peacekeeping.
The British Minister appreciates the Burundi Defense Force’s efforts
“The UK and the international community are enormously grateful for the efforts of the Burundi National Defense Force; and Burundi has much to be proud of,” says the British Minister. For him, their vital contribution in Somalia and the progress made is a direct result of the sacrifices and successes of AMISOM in which Burundi plays an important role. The British Minister hopes that their training, which follows the US peacekeeping support program, adds further value, leading to more success and minimized casualties in Somalia. “We will also continue to work with your Ministry of Defense to develop civil-military co-operation training. This one is so important today in maintaining the support of a local population particularly when operating outside one’s country,” indicates the British Minister. According to him, he wishes that this cooperation between the two countries continue to prosper in the coming years.
“Burundi looks set to become an increasingly important player in peacekeeping support operations in Africa, and I hope that our support can continue to contribute to that success,” concludes the British Minister.