Ziguinchor, Senegal (AFP) Feb 20, 2011
Three soldiers were killed and six injured in an attack by suspected separatist rebels in Senegal's troubled Casamance region on Sunday, a military official told AFP.
An army camp in the Senegalese village Karongue, 75 kilometres (45 miles) north of the regional capital Ziguinchor was attacked around 0700 GMT, the official said.
The latest deaths bring to 15 the number of Senegalese soldiers killed since December 27 in the region, wracked by a three-decade-long separatist rebellion by the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC).
In a statement released on January 23, the MFDC said it planned to extend "all hostilities in the Casamance to oust" the Senegalese army from the region.
An armed rebellion for independence has been under way in Casamance, separated from the rest of Senegal by Gambia, since 1982, and sporadic violence has continued despite a peace accord signed in 2004.
Peace talks have stalled since early 2005, hampered by the fact that the MFDC is split into different factions.
A recent surge in violence has exasperated the population and in mid-January more than 1,000 women marched in Ziguinchor demanding "an immediate halt to killings" and "the immediate resumption of negotiations".
President Abdoulaye Wade, in power for the past 10 years, briefly touched on the situation in Casamance during his New Year's speech, saying his government was "open to dialogue" with the MFDC in spite of "regrettable recent events".
This week he asked his government to swiftly come up with a social programme to reintegrate former rebels.
A political leader of the MFDC, Ansoumane Badji, recently wrote to the African Union to ask the pan-African body to organise a self-determination referendum in Casamance.
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Mogadishu, Somalia (UPI) Feb 15, 2011
As Somalia enters its 21st year of war, the U.S.-backed transitional government has doled out long-overdue back pay to its troops and says it's preparing a big offensive against Islamist al-Shahaab rebels who hold most of the lawless country. But the insurgents, who are linked to al-Qaida, were joined by longtime rivals of the Hizb-ul Islami militia in November and look like they're rea ... read more
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