BUJUMBURA\ – The Burundi head of state, Pierre Nkurunziza, has announced that his government is to open judicial proceedings on the issue of unpaid wages of more than five thousand Burundi military personnel who are in the African Union Peace keeping Mission in Somalia, AMISOM.
The Burundian troops have not been paid their allowances for eleven months, from funding which is totally assured by the European Union.
In March, the EU had suspended direct aid to Burundi, including funds for its peacekeeping contingent in AMISOM, saying the Burundi government had not done enough to address the crisis which has gripped the country for nearly two years.
Nkurunziza said his government was not going to sit with crossed arms.
“Burundian interests cannot be hijacked. We will claim our rightful due, including compensation,” he said on Tuesday.
For several months the EU and Burundian government have been at loggerheads over the payment terms of the troops deployed in Somalia.
The EU announced it would now only pay the military personnel salaries directly into their own accounts, but this decision was rejected by Burundian authorities who believed it was an attempt to destroy the Burundian army.