Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza hosted a state banquet in honour of his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Farmaajo, who is in the East African nation on an official visit.
The visit comes at a time when Burundi has been asked to withdraw up to 1,000 of its troops from Somalia.
Burundi is one of the African nations that contribute troops to the United Nations and African Union funded peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
According to Somali’s presidency, the two heads of state are expected to hold bilateral talks focused on ‘strengthening cooperation on security and expanding trade and economic partnerships’.
Burundi’s soldiers are expected to leave Somalia by the end of this month, even though local authorities worry about the security implications.
The president of HirShabelle state in Somalia, Mohamed Abdi Waare, warned against a rushed withdrawal plan, saying it could leave his state vulnerable to attacks.
Burundi troops operating under AMISOM have their main base in Jowhar, the administrative capital of HirShabelle State.
“The transition plan is finally becoming a reality and there are painful decisions that have to be taken,” President Waare observed.