Somalia: Burundi ready to send more troops

2011-08-16 10:02
Bujumbura - Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza said on Monday he was ready to send more troops for the African Union force in Somalia after the mission's commander last week called for additional soldiers.

"Other countries have pledged to send troops ... but on our side, we have said it, and we repeat; as long as there is peace and security in Burundi, we will send more troops if the African Union requests us," Nkurunziza said.

The Burundian president made the pledge after talks with his Somali counterpart Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who is on a visit to the central Africa country.

Burundian troops make up half the 9 000-strong AU force protecting the embattled Somali government. There is also a Ugandan contingent.

Last week the AU force commander Major General Fred Mugisha called for urgent reinforcements of 3 000 more troops as authorised in December by the UN Security Council to boost security operations.

His call came days after Somalia's al-Qaeda-inspired rebels pulled out of the capital Mogadishu, where they had been fighting to topple the Western-backed government.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  au  |  pierre nkurunziza  |  burundi  |  somalia  |  east africa
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