The French army on Wednesday evening offered the Burundian forces bullet-proof equipment to support the latter’s peacekeeping efforts in Somalia.
Gen. Jean-Jacques Toutous, commander of the French forces in Gabon, handed over the equipment to the Burundian side, which included 890 bullet-proof helmets and another 890 bullet-proof vests.
« We’ve donated the military equipment because the work Burundian peacekeepers are doing in Somalia is great, » said Toutous.
Burundi and Uganda are the two main contributors of troops in the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Burundian Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombare thanked France for the assistance, stressing that the work of Burundian troops serving in the AMISOM will become easier.
« The military equipment will be given to a battalion soon to be sent to Somalia. It’s very modern because these vests are very light and will thus allow our troops to move easily on the ground, » he said.
He added that the donation also proved the increasingly close relations between the French and Burundian governments and between the two armies.
« This also shows that France supports our hard work in Somalia, » Niyombare said.