AMISOM salutes Burundi troops for fight against Al Shabaab in Hirshabelle State
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The AMISOM Force Commander, Lt Gen Diomede Ndegeya, on Wednesday visited Jowhar, the headquarters of the AMISOM Burundi contingent, where he officiated at a medal award ceremony for Burundian soldiers who have concluded their one-year of service with AMISOM.
Lt. Gen. Ndegeya was accompanied by AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge of Support and Logistics, Maj. Gen. Gerbi Kebede Regassa and other senior AMISOM officials.
Lt. Gen. Ndegeya paid tribute to the outgoing troops for supporting the implementation of the AMISOM mandate to degrade Al-Shabaab, implementing civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) activities for the benefit of the local population and for being steadfast in securing the electoral process in Hirshabelle State.
He also acknowledged the strong ties between Burundi and Somalia and noted that 14 years since AMISOM first deployed troops in Somalia, Burundian soldiers have played a key role in supporting the Somali security forces to stabilise the country.
"You have continued to ensure that the Jowhar-Mogadishu main supply route which falls within your area of responsibility is safe for use by the public. I thank you for keeping this key lifeline operational and urge you to continue working closely with Somali security agencies to jointly eliminate any enemy threats along these important main supply routes,” Lt. Gen. Ndegeya told the troops.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Maj. Gen Regassa praised the Burundian troops for their commitment and contribution to maintaining peace in Hirshabelle State.
"We recognise your sacrifices and your contribution to peace and security in this environment. We appreciate what you have done for Somalia, the region and, indeed Africa,” said Maj Gen. Regassa.
The AMISOM Burundi Contingent Commander, Brig. Gen. Telesphore Barandereka, said his troops worked exceptionally hard together with the Somali security forces in military operations, protecting the civilian population and securing vital installations.
He also highlighted the recent operation in which AMISOM troops from Burundi and Uganda supported the Somali National Army to clear Al-Shabaab from Basra, in the Lower Shabelle region.
"We have ensured freedom of movement of persons and goods on all main supply routes in our area of responsibility. Jointly with the Somali security forces, we have conducted successful combat patrol and operations to degrade Al-Shabaab in different parts of Hirshabelle State,” he said.
He added that "Together with Somali security forces, we conducted cordon and search operations to deny Al-Shabab infiltration into Jowhar where the electoral process was taking place.”