Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday disapproved the decision of the African Union (AU) to withdraw 1,000 Burundian peacekeepers from Somalia.
The AU Peace and Security Council decided in December that Burundi should start the pullout of 1,000 Burundian troops of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) before the end of February 2019, as part of reduction in AU troops in Somalia amid transition of security responsibility to Somali national security forces. Both Burundi and Somalia are not happy with the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council, and there should be an urgent summit of the AMISOM troop contributing countries in order to discuss the issue, said Nkurunziza in Burundian commercial capital Bujumbura at a press conference after meeting visiting Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
The two-day visit will strengthen political and security cooperation between the two countries to bring peace and stability in Somalia, said Mohamed. The Burundian government played a significant role in the peace and security of the region, and Somali people are grateful for the contribution of Burundian AMISOM troops, he said.
Burundi is among the main contributors of AMISOM troops. Since December 2007, the central African country has deployed six rotating battalions comprising about 5,500 troops in Somalia.