Bujumbura — On Saturday July 14th, 2007, France's Ambassador to Burundi, Joël Louvet, and the Burundian Minister of National Defence, Lt.-Gen. Germain Niyoyankana signed an exceptional aid convention of 500000 Euros to help convey troops and military equipments to Somalia.
France has made this promise in mid-June while the USA had promised to provide some military equipments including uniforms, boots and bullet-proof jackets and helmets. The promises by the USA and France followed a confirmation by the AU of the troops' technical preparedness for the peace keeping mission.
Burundi troops were ready since May, but were waiting for logistical support which was to be provided by the AU. In an exclusive interview with Burundi Réalités Agence Presse on May 23rd, Mr. Manirakiza Adolphe had stated that the only delay for the deployment was logistical support which was to be provided by the African Union. Many observers doubt whether the African Union has what it really takes to mobilize the troops needed for the mission, hence a probable UN takeover.
In fact, the UN Security Council met on June 14th, 2007 and stressed the urgent need for appropriate contingency planning for a possible UN takeover of peacekeeping in Somalia from struggling African Union (AU) troops.
The AU has been struggling to mobilize 8,000 troops to help Somalia's weak government strength its Ethiopian backed flimsy grip.
Somalia has been without an effective government since the 1991 ouster of Mohamed Siad Barre.