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US Says Al-Qaida Remains Serious Threat in Africa

The United States says al-Qaida remains the most serious threat to U.S. interests and allies on the African continent.

In its annual report on terrorism released Friday, the State Department expressed concern about what it called a small number of al-Qaida operatives in East Africa, including Somalia.

It expressed further concern about fundraising and recruitment by al-Qaida in South Africa, Nigeria and countries in the Sahara.

Sudan remained on the State Department's list of nations that sponsor terrorism. But the report had some praise for Sudan's government, which it said has produced "desired results" against international terrorist elements and their facilitators.

The report praised several other African countries for their cooperation in the U.S.-led war on terror. These included Djibouti, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Rwanda and Senegal.

It says the African Union has the will to support counter-terrorism efforts but that its capacity to act remains "relatively weak."

The report says there were few significant terrorist attacks in Africa last year, but noted that civil conflict and ethnic violence continue in a number of countries.