Burundian troops with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) celebrated their country’s 61st Independence Day in Mogadishu and Jowhar on Saturday.
The events in both cities were attended by high-ranking officials including ATMIS and United Nations representatives.
The head of the African Union Transition Mission, Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, highlighted Burundi’s significant contributions to peace in Africa, particularly in Somalia and Central Africa.
“It is thanks to them that Burundi has contributed immensely to the ideal universal peace through political solutions anchored on mediation and constant engagement in favor of peace and security. Burundi has never hesitated to invest in peacekeeping operations, which to many people represent the unique hope for finding peace like in Somalia and Central Africa,”
Anita Kiki Gbeho, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, praised Burundian peacekeepers’ courage and sacrifice and ensured continued UN support for the AU Mission.
“With more than 3,000 Burundian troops committed to the largest AU peace support operation, you are making a difference daily to the security of the Somali people.”
Burundi gained independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962.
The region was part of the territory known as Ruanda-Urundi under Belgian colonial rule, which also included what is now the country of Rwanda.