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African Union envoy lauds Burundi troops for stabilizing Somalia


MOGADISHU, Somalia -- The African Union's top envoy in Somalia has hailed Burundian troops for their efforts in stabilizing Somalia.

Francisco Madeira, the special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia and head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), saluted AMISOM's Burundi contingent for their pivotal role in liberating Somalia and defeating armed opposition groups.

"AMISOM salutes the government and people of Burundi for the unquantifiable efforts and sacrifice, which has led to considerable stabilization of Somalia," Madeira said in a statement issued on Tuesday after joining Burundian troops in Mogadishu to mark Burundi's 57th Independence anniversary.

Burundi gained independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962.

Burundi deployed troops in Somalia to serve under AMISOM in December 2007. The Burundi contingent secures Somalia's Middle Shabelle region, with headquarters in Jowhar town.

Other AMISOM troop-contributing countries include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.