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: 2009/10

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Obama Should Meet African Ministers Before G20 Summit

Added |2009, 10

Rebels massacre six soldiers

Six Senegalese soldiers have been killed in an attack suspected to be perpetrated by rebels of the MFDC, a former secessionist group. The attack, which is one of the most deadly in recent years, took place in the southern Casamance region about 70 miles east of the regional capital, Ziguinchor.

According to Senegalís military sources, an army patrol returning to its base was attacked by armed elements supposedly belonging to the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC), resulting in the killing of six soldiers. Four were gravely wounded and two were reported missing, AFP said. It is another sign of resurgent violence in the Casamance region, geographically separated from the rest of Senegal to the north by Gambia. Last week, public officials in Casamance called for the reopening of talks between the Dakar government and the former rebels following the killing of a government soldier in an attack blamed on the MFDC. Last August, a number of deadly clashes between the Senegalese army and the ex-rebels of MFDC were reported. The MFDC began its armed struggle of obtaining independence from Senegal in 1982, and has waged a long battle with Dakar since then. A peace accord was signed by both parties in December 2004.

While responding to the urgent need to bring an end to extreme suffering in Africa's failed states, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can promote transformative leadership, improved governance and sustainable development throughout the continent. Several hundred million Africans await the fulfillment of this implied promise.

Richard Joseph is John Evans professor of international history and politics, Northwestern University, in Illinois in the United States. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of The Brookings Institution, Washington DC, and co-editor of the book "Smart Aid for African Development".

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