WASHINGTON – With the increasing action of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and its related groups in Africa over the past month, the U.S. government has followed the situations closely, particularly those in Mali and Algeria.
In Mali, fundamentalist fighters exhibited stiff resistance to French and Malian forces and even encroached upon the capital city of Bamako. While in Algeria, two Islamic extremist groups captured a natural gas complex and held more 100 foreigners hostage. The siege ended after four days with heavy fighting and dozens dead.
In addition to attention given to Mali and Algeria, the U.S. recently re-established relations with Somalia and on Tuesday announced it had signed a Status of Forces Agreement with Niger, a central African nation that borders both Mali and Algeria.
Voice of Russia correspondent Stephen Schaber spoke with Ambassador David Shinn, who previously served as U.S. Ambassador in Africa to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, to discuss the growing Islamic fundamentalist threat and the expanding U.S. presence in Africa. Shinn is currently an adjunct professor of international affairs at The George Washington University.
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