Press Statement
Robert Wood
Acting Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 24, 2009

The United States strongly condemns the February 22 attack on African Union peacekeepers by a violent extremist fringe in Somalia. We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the eleven Burundian victims. Our thoughts are also with the fifteen individuals who were wounded. We commend the governments of Burundi and Uganda as well as the African Union for their courage and continued efforts to support the restoration of stability and effective governance in Somalia.

Such acts of terror are the refuge of desperate extremists who aim to strip from the Somali people an opportunity to determine their own future and achieve lasting peace and stability. These acts are also hindering the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance.

We call on all Somalis to support the new unity government led by President Sheikh Sharif and Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke and to reject the violence and extremism intended to prevent Somalia from regaining political and economic stability.

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PRN: 2009/148