Politics

AU pays tribute to Burundian soldiers killed in Somalia

Smail Chergui AU Commissioner for Peace and Security placing a wreath on Major General Juvénal Niyoyunguruza’s grave

Smail Chergui AU Commissioner for Peace and Security placing a wreath on Major General Juvénal Niyoyunguruza’s grave

Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, arrived in Bujumbura in the afternoon of 18 January 2017. He paid tribute to the Burundian soldiers who lost their lives in the fighting against the Al-Shabab terrorist group in Somalia.

Chergui laid a wreath on the grave of Brigadier General Juvénal Niyoyunguruza, who died in Somalia on 17 September 2009 in memory of all Burundi soldiers who died on the battlefield in Somalia.

Niyoyunguruza, who was the Deputy Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia-AMISOM at the time, died with six other Burundian soldiers following a twin suicide attack rocket that struck AMISOM headquarters. Al shabab group later on claimed responsibility for it .Niyoyunguruza participated in the first Burundi contingent deployed in peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

“It is a fundamental duty to come here to pay tribute to our peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives to give their fellow Somali brothers and sisters the opportunity to restore peace and security,” said Chergui while explaining the gesture of placing a wreath on the grave of Niyoyunguruza.

He said the African Union Commission would continue to recall the gesture Burundian troops have made for Somalia in particular and for Africa as a whole. “We will always remember them because they have done more than their duty,” Chergui said.

For Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Burundi’s involvement in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia was important in restoring peace not only in Somalia but also in the world.

“There was a time when maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean at the height of Somalia was completely difficult to eradicate. Had it not been the intervention of the Burundian and other countries’ forces through AMISOM, many Western countries would have still been suffering from maritime piracy and other acts of terrorism, “says Nyamitwe.

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