Somalia: Burundi does't want to see more soldier killing

Published on Friday 11th April 2008

Burundi, Apr 11: Burundi said this week's killing of one of its soldiers in Somalia will not deter its peacekeeping operations in the strife-torn country.

Foreign Minister Antoinette Batumubwira on Thursday said Bujumbura did not want to see a repeat of Tuesday's incident in which the soldier was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu.

"This death will not discourage the government of Burundi," she told reporters after the soldier's body arrived in Bujumbura.

Burundi has deployed some 850 soldiers in Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping force and plans to increase the number to 1,700, AFP report said.

The attack, which was claimed by Islamist militants, was the worst yet against the AU troops in Mogadishu.

So far Burundi and Uganda are the only countries that have sent troops to Somalia, where the pan-African bloc expects to eventually deploy some 8,000 peacekeepers.

Somalia has been plagued by almost uninterrupted civil unrest since the 1991 ouster of former president Mohamed Siad Barre.