“I have come to help Africa, to help Somalia, to help our brothers," says Lt Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, the new man in charge of AMISOM.
MOGADIGHU - The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has a new force commander, Lt Gen. Diomede Ndegeya from Burundi, who arrived in Mogadishu on Sunday.
As the overall head of forces from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, Ndegeya is to take over from Lt Gen. Tigabu Yilma of Ethiopia, whose tour of duty has ended after being in charge since January 2019.
A release from African Union states that Ndegeya was received at the Aden Abdulle International Airport by AMISOM deputy force commander in charge of operations and plans, Maj Gen Nakibus Lakara, Maj Gen George Owinow, the AMISOM deputy force commander in charge of support and logistics, and other senior AMISOM military officers.
"I have come to help Africa, to help Somalia, to help our brothers. I have previously been here a number of times, from 2007 to 2012," said Ndegeya in his brief remarks a few minutes after arrival.
With a career spanning 38 years, the 57-year-old military officer is no stranger to Somalia, having previously served there from 2007 to 2009, as a member of the Burundi National Defence Forces AMISOM's pre-deployment team in charge of supervising and training.
In 2012, he was part of a reconnaissance mission to the Bay and Bakool regions of Somalia ahead of the AMISOM troop deployment there.
Before his latest appointment, Ndegeya was the senior advisor to Burundi's defence minister, charged with political and diplomatic affairs, a role he took on after serving four years as a defence attaché at the Burundian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
A holder of a Master's Degree in Technical Sciences, Ndegeya has vast knowledge in military command and defence strategy obtained from military institutions in Russia, China and France.
He has also published a number of research papers on peacekeeping missions in Africa and professionalization of the Burundi National Defence Forces, among others.