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AP News

Uganda faces pressure to pull troops from Somalia

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A Ugandan activist group is threatening demonstrations if the country's military doesn't withdraw its troops from Somalia, where they form the bulk of an African Union peacekeeping force.

The threat comes more than a week after three Uganda army helicopters crashed in Kenya en route to Somalia, killing seven soldiers and raising fresh questions about why Uganda has 6,000 troops in the troubled Horn of Africa nation.

Bernard Luyiga, head of the Citizen Coalition on Somalia, Thursday criticized the secrecy surrounding Uganda's involvement in Somalia.

Ugandan officials have not revealed how many soldiers have been killed by Islamist insurgents in Somalia, saying only that the sacrifice is worth it.

Ugandan military spokesman Col. Felix Kulayigye dismissed the group's threat, saying Uganda has "a substantial interest in the stability of Somalia."

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