Burundi sends fresh troops to AU mission in Somalia

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A new battle group from Burundi has arrived in Mogadishu to replace soldiers of the 34th battalion who are rotating out after completing one-year tour of duty in Somalia.

The soldiers from the 40th battalion of the Burundi National Defence Force (BNDF), who will serve under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), were upbeat about their assignment in Somalia.

Speaking on arrival at the Mogadishu International Airport on Monday, the battalion’s commander, Major Leonidas Nsingirankabo, said his soldiers were ready for the task ahead and promised to do their best to help stabilize Somalia.

“My soldiers are ready for the task ahead to fight Al-Shabaab and contribute in stabilizing Somalia. We will engage them by observing all the international rules on war by ensuring our soldiers remain disciplined to win the support of the people of Somalia”, Major Nsingirankabo added.

The Chief of Operations of the Burundi soldiers in Somalia, Col Anicet Barusasiyeko, bid farewell to the soldiers rotating out and welcomed those deployed to take over their responsibilities.

“Effectively, for those who are rotating out, we have briefed them on what to expect when they get back to Burundi,” Col. Barusasiyeko said, adding; “Those arriving will also be briefed on the task ahead before they are deployed. We shall take them through orientation on what to expect.”

The commander of the 34th battalion, Major Sylvain Kinigi, said the outgoing soldiers played a major role in the stabilization process by helping liberate parts of Somalia from Al-Shabaab control.

“I passed here (Mogadishu) more than a year ago when I arrived on the peacekeeping mission in Somalia. We have undertaken different tasks in different places and delivered on our mandate”, Major Kinigi said.

The 34th battalion was based in Jowhar, Lower Shabelle region. The Burundi National Defence Force is responsible for peacekeeping operations in Sector five under the African Union Mission in Somalia.

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