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Somalia's president visits Burundi to request more peacekeepers

(Xinhua)

09:47, August 16, 2011

BUJUMBURA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Monday paid a three-hour visit to Burundi to request more troops of the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to occupy gained fields.

The Somali president told journalists after he paid a courtesy visit to his Burundian counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza that the main objective of his visit was to discuss the security improvement in Somalia, the humanitarian situation and the strengthening of bilateral relations between Burundi and Somalia.

"We hail the achievements of Burundian troops serving in the AMISOM in the Somali capital Mogadishu and we came here (to Burundi) to request more troops to occupy fields recently gained from Al Shabaab insurgents by AMISOM troops together with soldiers backing the Transitional Federal Government," the Somali president said.

For his part, the Burundian president promised that Burundi is ready to send more troops to Somalia.

"We're ready to send more troops to Somalia, but the country (Somalia) should think of training its own security forces because the AU peacekeepers will not stay there forever. One day, they will have to withdraw from Somalia," Nkurunziza said.

Burundi and Uganda are the main contributors of troops in the AMISOM peacekeeping mission.

Burundi alone has sent five battalions to Somalia since 2007.

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