A delegation of senior Burundi military personnel serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has held a meeting with Middle Shabelle administration officials, to discuss ways of securing the forthcoming elections in the region.
The meeting held in Jowhar, last week, also discussed the general security situation in the region and how to tackle the threat posed by Al-Shabaab militants. The Burundian delegation was led by Col. Ildephonse Hakizimana.
The Governor of Middle Shabelle region, Ali Hussein Abdullah, who was present at the meeting, hailed the good relations between the local administration in Jowhar and the Burundian troops serving under AMISOM.
Governor Ali emphasized the need to prevent Al-Shabaab from disrupting the elections, adding that Somalis were eager to participate in a peaceful exercise. The Governor noted that it is incumbent on the Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM to secure the polls from any form of disruption.
He appealed to the Burundi contingent to continue helping in building the capacity of the SNA and also share intelligence with the National Intelligence Security Agency (NISA), to enable the country effectively fight terrorism.
Governor Ali said the local administration was still waiting for communication from the responsible arms of government on the details of the next polls. He, however, informed the meeting that the local leadership will organize a pre-election conference in Middle Shabelle region to be held in Jowhar town. He appealed to the Burundi contingent to aid SNA and NISA secure the conference venue.
Col Anicet Barusasiyeko, the Burundi Contingent Officer in Charge of Operations, reiterated the commitment of Burundi to supporting the Federal Government and SNA in their efforts to stabilize Somalia.
Col Barusasiyeko noted it was crucial for the local administration to work closely with AMISOM, especially in intelligence gathering and sharing to boost the fight against Al-Shabaab.
Col. Emmanuel Mberamihigo, the Burundi Contingent Intelligence Officer, called for a meeting between SNA and AMISOM commanders in the sector to discuss the mechanisms of securing the elections.