Somalia: Government Welcomes reopening of US embassy

Somalia on Wednesday welcomed the reopening of a US diplomatic mission in the Horn of Africa country, more than two decades after it withdrew from there.

An ambassador is still to be appointed for the mission, which will initially be located in neighbouring Kenya.

The establishment of the mission heralds “a new dawn” in bilateral relations “as Somalia moves towards peace and prosperity,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said in a joint statement.

“US officials will continue to travel to Somalia to conduct official business as security conditions permit,” the US Department of State said on announcing the opening of the embassy on Tuesday.

 In May, John Kerry became the first US secretary of state to visit Somalia. Washington had withdrawn from the country in 1993 after 18 US servicemen were killed in Mogadishu.

The incident arose during an international relief effort after the collapse of a military dictatorship in 1991.

Recently, the US has carried out drone strikes against Al-Shabaab in Somalia, killing its leader Ahmed Godane last year, and has reportedly trained Somali elite commandos to fight the Islamist group.

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