Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has called for the African Union as a matter of urgency to convene a meeting of the countries contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to review the decision to withdraw its troops.
President Nkurunziza made the remarks after holding a meeting with Somalia President, Abdullahi “Farmajo” of Somalia at State House Bujumbura on Tuesday.
President Farmajo was in Burundi for a two-day State visit. He was accompanied by a delegation that included Minister of Defense and the Somalia National Army (SNA) Chief of Staff.
Burundi is not pleased the planned drawdown that will see a further 1,000 soldiers from its contingent being pulled out from Somalia.
Last December, the African Union’s Peace Support Operations Division directed that the planned drawdown of a further 1,000 soldiers come exclusively from the Burundian contingent.
The Somali government is also uncomfortable with the planned phased drawdown arguing that its army is not ready to take charge of the country’s security.
During this visit, President Farmajo lauded Burundian soldiers in Somalia saying they have made ultimate sacrifice and assured the people of Burundi that their sacrifice will not go in vain.
In December 2017, 1,040 Burundian troops serving in Somalia under AMISOM mandate were withdrawn.
Burundi also argues that AMISOM troops be withdrawn on a proportional basis from each of the five troop-contributing countries.
Burundi government receives $18 million from the AU quarterly, as compensation for the soldiers.