130 Burundian soldiers fly to Mogadishu for peace keeping mission

Burundi National Defence Forces serving with AMISOM has carried out a rotation of troops for a peace keeping mission in Somalia on August 22nd 2017. The 44th and 45th battalions replace the 38th and 39th battalions that have just accomplished their one year mission.

Soldiers of the 45th battalion at Bujumbura International Airport before flying to Somalia

Soldiers of the 45th battalion at Bujumbura International Airport before flying to Somalia

130 soldiers from the 45th battalion took a flight from Bujumbura International Airport early this morning in destination to Mogadishu. They join their battalion and the 44th that were recently sent to replace the 38th and 39th battalions. “The 44th battalion has already gone and the 38th regained the country after one year mission in Somalia.

This is the turn of the 45th battalion to go. Part of it is already in Mogadishu and the 130 soldiers are going to join them and complete the battalion of 1800 soldiers as planned. The 39th battalion will then come back”, says Gaspard Baratuza, Spokesperson for the Army.

He urges the Burundian contingent to follow the AU and UN instructions as they were recommended in their pre-departure orientation sessions. I exhort them to continue the execution of the mission as prescribed and be professionally disciplined, says Baratuza.

About the question of soldiers’ allowances that was polemical in past months, Baratuza says it is over now. “There are no problems at this moment, soldiers are paid regularly. It was solved after the AU staff meeting with different Burundi authorities”.

He says the Defence Ministry is proud of the job its soldiers do in peace keeping missions. “Our contingent has demonstrated professionalism and dedication. Even international organisations appreciate their work”, says the Army spokesman.

Burundian contingent has been serving in the African Union Mission in Somalia-AMISOM for the past ten years and is the second largest one with more than 5,400 troops after Uganda.