The new contingent replaces the 34th battalion that has completed one year tour of duty in Somalia.
952 soldiers of the 40th battalion left Burundi for Somalia to serve under AMISOM. According to Burundian Army Spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza briefing reporters as soldiers were boarding an aircraft to Somalia and will be deployed in their sector.
The spokesman also noted that the issues of salary have been addressed empathizing on the troops commitment to defeating Al-Shabaab, a transnational terrorist outfit that has destabilized Somalia for years.
Baratuza said that the salary arrears for January, February and 14 days of March for last year will be soon available at the Burundi Central Bank before transferring the salary to beneficiaries’ accounts.
Burundi is among the main contributors of troops in the AMISOM. Other troops contributors includes Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
AMISOM has a strong force of 22,000 soldiers deployed in various sectors in Somalia to fight Al Shabaab militants.
Burundi has the second biggest AMISOM contingent – after Uganda – of some 5,400 soldiers.