Bujumbura, Burundi (PANA) – The Burundian army on Wednesday asked for a "neutral" enquiry into the death of a Malaysian journalist and injury to another during a shootout in Mogadishu, Somalia, between African Union peacekeepers in Somalia (AMISOM) and unidentified gunmen.
The Malaysian journalist of a private television, Mura Faisal Bin Mohamed, was killed in the shootout, while Aji Seragar Bin Mazlan, was injured.
AMISOM's preliminary investigations found that four soldiers of the Burundian contingent were involved in the shootout targeting a car in which the victims were travelling on a road to the airport of Mogadishu.
As a result, AMISOM recommended that the suspected culprits be suspended from their duties and legal proceedings taken against them in strict compliance with military and judicial procedures in their country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday in Bujumbura, the Burundian national defence and war veterans ministry said it a satement broadcast in the foreign media incriminating four soldiers of the Burundian AMISOM contingent although it had not received a copy of the enquiry.
"In the face of this situation, the Burundian national defence and war veterans ministry says it does not recognize the findings of the commission of enquiry broadcast by the different foreign radio statons and proposes the setting up of a neutral commission of enquiry, capable of carrying out thorough enquiries and providing a report after consultation with all the stakeholhers and listening to witnesses without any bias," the news release said.
Burundi and Uganda are the only African countries that have accepted to date to contribute troops to the AMISOM peacekeeping operation.
AMISOM soldiers recently recorded military successes in Mogadishu in the face of young El Shebaab Islamist insurgents who are opposed to the Somali central government and any foreign military presence.
Security remains precarious, however, in this country in the Horn of Africa .
At least 70 people were killed in early October and 150 others wounded in an truck bomb attack for which El Shebaab claimed responsibility.
-0- PANA FB/TBM/PAP/MA 12Oct2011