The Burundian contingent under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has acquired a fleet of armoured personnel carriers to reinforce ongoing counter-terror operations in Somalia.
The Government of the Republic of Burundi delivered at least 20 combat vehicles as contingent-owned equipment to its troops serving under AMISOM.
The high rate of wear and tear of equipment due to the harsh operating environment requires AMISOM troop-contributing countries to replace equipment periodically to ensure the efficiency of operations.
Burundian troops alongside other forces from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, are deployed in Somalia under a UN Security Council mandate to support the Somali security forces to defeat terrorist groups.
On Tuesday, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, inspected the new equipment in Mogadishu.
Also presented was the Deputy AMISOM Force Commander in-charge of Logistics and Support, Maj. Gen. George Owinow, and the Commander of the Burundian troops under AMISOM, Brig. Gen. Richard Banyankimbona.
Ambassador Madeira, who is also the Head of AMISOM, noted that the military hardware would boost AMISOM’s capacity to combat terrorism while ensuring safety of the soldiers.
“Our soldiers are valiant and brave however they need protection while fighting. So, these armoured personnel carriers will protect them as they fight the enemy,” said Ambassador Madeira.
“They are force enablers and force multipliers, no doubt and I thank the Burundi President for providing this essential equipment,” he added.
The AMISOM Burundi contingent commander, Brig Gen Banyankimbona said the carriers would enhance his troops’ movement, protection of civilians, UN and AMISOM personnel. The Burundian troops under AMISOM secure Middle Shabelle region.
“We are deploying them to support the implementation of AMISOM mandate,” said Brig. Gen. Banyankimbona.