- - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

UGANDA

U.S. asked to fund troops to Somalia

KAMPALA | Uganda said Wednesday that it is ready to send 10,000 more troops to Somalia if the U.S. provides the funding, a move that would more than double the size of the African Union force in Mogadishu.

Uganda made its pledge in the wake of twin bombings in Kampala during July’s World Cup final that killed 76 people. Somalia’s most dangerous militant group, al-Shabab, said it carried out the attack because of the presence of several thousand Ugandan troops in Mogadishu as part of the nearly 7,000-strong African Union force.

The spokesman for Uganda’s army, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, said the country has 10,000 more forces trained and ready to deploy to Somalia, but the country needs the U.S. to provide assistance.

“The USA committed itself to fund the peacekeeping troops,” Col. Kulayigye said. “Once they provide what they promised, we will send the troops.”

The U.S. Embassy spokeswoman in Uganda, Joann Lockard, said the U.S. has provided funds for an additional 1,000 Ugandan troops to deploy to Somalia. The U.S. also continues to work with African nations to increase the overall support for AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia, she said.

The U.S. has obligated more than $185 million in support of AMISOM troops from Uganda and Burundi, she said.

MOZAMBIQUE

6 killed in riot over rising prices

MAPUTO | Two children were fatally shot and at least four more people were killed in clashes between police and rioters across Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, on Wednesday in protests over rising prices, police and hospital sources said.

Police used tear gas to disperse crowds and fired live ammunition after running out of rubber bullets, while protesters blocked roads and burned tires, police officials said.

The violence was the worst in the impoverished southern African country since 2008.

The protests appeared to have been touched off when the government boosted prices on bread by 30 percent on Wednesday, as wheat prices shoot up around the world.

Residents of one of the world’s poorest countries say they have been hit hard by rising costs for basic necessities including bread, with soaring costs for fuel and other essentials adding to their troubles.

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