U.S. official meets Somali leaders as forces there battle insurgents

April 08, 2007|By New York Times News Service

NAIROBI, Kenya -- The highest-ranking American official to set foot in Somalia in more than a decade returned from a trip there yesterday conceding that there were "significant problems" but saying that "we have to have faith in the people of Somalia."

The official, Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, spent five hours in Baidoa, Somalia, meeting with top officials of the Somali transitional government, which has been struggling to gain control of the country. For two weeks, government forces have been battling insurgents in intense urban combat in which more than 1,000 civilians have been killed or wounded.

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