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Nigeria and Burundi to deploy troops in Somalia

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Responding to increased violence by Islamist insurgents in Somalia – Al Qaeda's base in Africa – the United States is preparing to help Nigeria and Burundi deploy peacekeeping troops to the Somalian capital, according to the top US diplomat in Africa.

The announcement comes as international aid agencies report increased kidnappings of foreign aid workers, and warn that violence in Somalia has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the region.

An African Union peacekeeping force has been at war with Islamist insurgents in Somalia since 2006, when Ethopia invaded the country to push the Islamists out, Agence France-Presse reports.

Since their ouster early last year by joint Ethiopian and Somali forces, the Islamists have waged a guerilla war, which according to international rights groups and aid agencies has left at least 6,000 civilians dead and displaced hundreds of thousands.
An uninterrupted civil war has plagued Somalia since the 1991 overthrow of president Mohamed Siad Barre, defying numerous peace initiatives and truce deals.

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