BUJUMBURA, Burundi – Burundi's president has threatened to pull out almost 5,500 troops contributing to African Union forces in Somalia over unpaid allowances.
Pierre Nkurunziza said Friday that if there is no payment by January, Burundi will recall the more than 5,400 troops from the 22,000-strong regional force protecting Somalia's weak government from al-Shabab extremist attacks.
Burundi's troops have not been paid allowances for 11 months amid a standoff between Burundi's government and the European Union over the EU accusing Burundian authorities of human rights abuses.
The EU is the largest donor to the African Union force in Somalia.
Burundi has faced widespread international criticism over the deadly political turmoil that followed Nkurunziza's pursuit of a third term last year, which many in the country called unconstitutional. Hundreds of been killed.