Burundi Lawmakers Call for Withdrawal of Troops from Somalia, Blames EU
Burundian lawmakers have called on the government to withdrawal troops battling Islamists insurgents from Somalia citing EU non-committal in paying their troops.
Media reports that on Thursday, the Law makers summoned Defense Minister Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye and Police Commissioner Alain Guillaume Bunyoni to answer questions regarding the Burundian peacekeeping force performing duties under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The parliamentary committee on security blamed EU, claiming not to have paid Burundian troops in Somalia for 10 months.
“It’s been 10 months our troops in Somalia have not been paid, the EU now refuses to send their salaries via the Burundian government … we think it’s time to bring them back,” Victor Burikukiye, president of a parliamentary committee on security and defense, said.
In March, the EU suspended direct aid to Burundi including funds for its peacekeeping force in AMISOM.
Burundi is also facing sanctions following crisis which began in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term of office. The Law makers also accused EU to be behind increased sanctions against Burundi.
The Burundi contingent is the second largest within AMISOM with 5,432 troops. The country was also the second to deploy troops into Somalia, its first soldiers having arrived in Mogadishu in December 2007.
Burundian forces are in charge of Sector 5 which covers the Middle Shabelle region.
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