More than 40 Burundian peacekeepers killed in recent Somalia fighting

10:33, March 06, 2011      

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More than 40 Burundian peacekeepers were killed and about 100 others wounded in the recent fighting in Somalia, AFP quoted military sources as reporting.

However, there is no confirmation of the figure from the government of Burundi.

Burundi and Uganda are the only two African countries which have contributed peacekeepers to the African peacekeeping mission AMISOM in Somalia. Since December 2007, Burundi has sent four battalions to Somalia to back the transitional government of Somalia.

AMISOM peacekeepers have been the target of the attacks from the Somali insurgent group al Shabaab.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, Burundian Army Chief of Staff Major General Godefroid Niyombare said "Burundian troops were requested by the African Union. They are there (in Somalia) doing well their duties and they will stay there."

Niyombare said Burundian troops serving in AMISOM will stay there despite human losses that occurred last week in the Somali capital Mogadishu during fierce fighting between AMISOM troops and Somalia's al Shabaab insurgents.

Responding to the question on the real figure of Burundian troops who died during the fighting between AMISOM troops and Somalia's al Shabaab insurgents in the capital Mogadishu, the Burundian army top official said "For respect of profession and families of victims, it's not necessary to reveal figures of victims."

Somalia has been plagued by factional fighting between warlords and has not had a functioning central administration since the 1991 ouster of former leader Mohammed Siad Barre.

Source: Xinhua
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