The commendation was made by the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Hon. Lydia Wanyoto during a ceremony held in Mogadishu, to award medals to 1828 soldiers from the 26th and 27th battalions, who have completed their tour of duty in Somalia.
Also present at the ceremony was the AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Jonathan Rono and the Burundi Ambassador to Somalia Joseph Nkurunziza among others.
Nkurunziza hailed the soldiers for the professionalism and dedication with which they executed their duties. “These medals mark the end of your duties and it is with pride that you go back to your home land, with this kind of award which distinguishes you from others. It is also a sign of African Union recognition to the people who have served Africa”, said Nkurunziza.
The DSRCC Hon. Lydia Wanyoto commended the soldiers for supporting the Somalia’s stabilization efforts. In a speech she read on behalf of the SRCC Ambassador Maman Sidikou, Wanyoto said, “It is good for you to have come and made a contribution for the cause of an African person, in her own country in Somalia”.
The Force Commander Lt. Gen. Jonathan Rono saluted the soldiers for their resilience and commitment to duty, noting that they had defied great difficulties to succeed in their mission.
“Operationally, the battalions have performed impressively well which was manifested in our ability to implement AMISOM’s mandate within the Burundian National Defense Forces assigned tasks. Your robust and numerous day and night patrols, cordon and search operations and escort to humanitarian aid duties has confirmed how well-trained and prepared you were for the tasks,” said Lt. Gen. Rono.
Burundi was the second among the six troop contributing countries to deploy forces to the mission in Somalia and its forces have helped in securing Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region.