AU Burundian troops, Battle Groups 55 and 56 end their tour of duty in Somalia
The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, yesterday recognized the contributions of Burundi troops to restoring peace in Somalia.
At an end of tour of duty parade in Mogadishu, the outgoing officers from BNDF Battle Groups 55 and 56 were presented with medals and certificates after eighteen months in AMISOM.
The troops from the two battle groups arrived in Somalia in November 2019, however, their deployment went beyond the mandatory one-year tour of duty due to disruptions by the COVID -19 pandemic.
The AMISOM deputy force commander in charge of operations and plans, Maj. Gen. William Kitsao Shume, commended the soldiers for securing the Main Supply Routes (MSRs) by conducting regular patrols and mentoring the Somali National Army (SNA) through joint operations and training.
“The Battle Groups have secured Jowhar Airfield, protected key population centres which include the towns of Balcaad and Ceel-Baraf. They mentored SNA through joint operations and training, secured Main Supply Roots in Middle Shabelle and implemented civil-military cooperation projects. For all these great achievements made, and on behalf of the AMISOM Force Commander, I applaud you for your tremendous contributions,” Maj. Gen. Shume said.
He also paid tribute to soldiers who died in the pursuit for peace in Somalia. He saluted them for the bravery in battle against the terrorists.
“In the discharge of your duties, some of your colleague soldiers paid the ultimate price. It is our hope and optimism that their blood will never go in vain. I am grateful to the brave men and their commanders for the excellent work, heroism, sacrifice, and selflessness,” added Maj. Gen. Shume.
The commander of the AMISOM Burundi contingent, Brig. Gen. Telesphore Barandereka, said the outgoing battalions accomplished different tasks that included the protection of civilians and restoration of peace and stability.
Brig. Gen. Barandereka congratulated his troops for their discipline, dedication and motivation during their time in Somalia.
“Jointly with Somali Security forces, they conducted successful operations to disrupt and degrade Al-Shabaab in different parts of Sector Five,” Brig. Gen. Barandereka said.
Present at the medal award ceremony were senior AMISOM military officers including the Chief of Staff, Brig Gen. Bob Paciesky Ogik.
Burundi first deployed troops under AMISOM in December 2007. Other AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.