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Terrorism & Security

Nigeria and Burundi to deploy troops in Somalia

The move comes amid a rise in kidnappings of foreign aid workers and an escalating humanitarian crisis.

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According to an Asssociated Press report in USA Today, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday called the level of violence in Somalia "incredible" and warned that it is seriously hampering the aid agency's ability to work in the region.

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"Since the beginning of this year, the number of incidents targeting either Somali journalists, civil servants, prominent local leaders, government officials (or) humanitarian actors ... has just increased in an incredible proportion," [Pascal Hundt, the ICRC's outgoing head of delegation for Somalia] told reporters.
In addition Somali insurgents have begun adopting tactics used in Iraq and Afghanistan — suicide attacks and roadside bombs, Hundt said.

The Associated Press goes on to highlight a sustained and widening campaign against aid workers and civilians.

So far this year nine aid workers have been abducted, according to a report by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
A Somali employee of the U.N. refugee agency was seized June 21 outside the capital, Mogadishu.
Five people kidnapped last week alone are still being held.
Earlier this year, Medecins Sans Frontieres pulled out its foreign staff from Somalia after three of its aid workers were killed by a land mine.

As aid workers are increasingly targeted, a humanitarian crisis has spiraled out of control in Somalia, making it one of the worst in Africa, according to a Bloomberg news report.

Somalia is facing its worst humanitarian crisis in a decade due to an escalating conflict and food and water shortages caused by a severe drought and rising commodity prices, aid workers said....
The United Nations said last month that more than 2.6 million Somalis – 35 percent of the population – need food aid. Some 900,000 people have been displaced from the capital, Mogadishu, scene of some of the fiercest fighting.
The majority of displaced Somalis are living in camps with no access to medical facilities, the ICRC said.

Reuters adds that the US is hoping to expedite the deployment of peacekeepers to bolster African Union forces with the backing of the United Nations Security Council.

"We're working with those council members who are not so sure about this to convince them that this is the right thing to do, and that we need to do it quickly," [Ms. Frazer] said.

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