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UPDATED: 08:58, January 30, 2007
Algeria pledges transportation for peacekeepers to Somalia: official
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Algeria has promised to provide transportation for the deployment of African peacekeepers to Somalia, said African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare Monday.

"Algeria has announced that it is ready to transport Ugandan and Rwandese troops to Somalia," Konare said when addressing the opening session of the 8th AU summit.

The chairman thanked the North African country, saying that this is an example that "Africa can be in a position to show its responsibility."

Konare urged a rapid deployment of peacekeepers to the Horn of Africa country, whose transitional federal government roused its powerful rival Islamist forces in a lightning battle under the Ethiopian military support.

"The more we delay in deploying the troops, the more risks for worsening situation," he said.

So far only Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi and Ghana have announced that they would contribute around 4,000 troops to the peacekeeping forces, half of the number that the AU has proposed.

"We have approached other countries and are waiting for response,"said Konare.

He expressed satisfaction with Ethiopian troops' withdrawal from Somalia, but cautioned that "if the troops of the African Mission in Somalia are not deployed quickly then chaos will descend."

Source: Xinhua

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