MAJOR LEAP: U.S re-establishes embassy in Somalia after 28 years

The United States has formally re-established its embassy in Somalia in close to three decades after it closed following the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

In a statement Wednesday, the U.S embassy said it was re-establishing its presence in Mogadishu following the re-establishing of a permanent mission in Somalia in December 2018.

The U.S embassy described the returns as ‘another step forward in the resumption of regular U.S.-Somali relations, symbolizing the strengthening of U.S.-Somalia relations and advancement of stability, development, and peace for Somalia, and the region.’

U.S ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto said, “Today we reaffirm the relations between the American people and the Somali people and our two nations. It is a significant and historic day that reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years, and another step forward in regularizing U.S. diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognizing the federal government of Somalia in 2013.  U.S.”

THE INTERVIEW: U.S ambassador to Somalia on return to Mogadishu, engagement with Somalia

Ambassador Yamamoto noted the embassy ‘will act to enhance cooperation, advance U.S. national strategic interests, and support our overall security, political, and economic development goals and objectives.”

The re-establishing of embassy in Somalia affirms the strengthening and normalization of relations between the two countries. The U.S government recognized the Somali Federal Government in 2013 following the conclusion of the Transitional Federal Government in 2012.

LARGEST DONOR

By far the largest donor to Somalia, the U.S has invested significantly in security, economic and social development in Somalia through various financing mechanisms in the country. While announcing a $257 million humanitarian assistance Wednesday, USAID said the U.S government has so far contributed $498 million in the 2019 financial year for humanitarian assistance in Somalia making it the largest donor.

The U.S has also played a key role in Somalia’s security sector providing funding for the African Mission in Somalia and training of Somali security forces. Notable is the training of the elite Danab Special Forces which have responded effectively in countering Al-Shabaab sieges particularly in Mogadishu.

In an interview with Goobjoog Television in March this year, ambassador Yamamoto said through financing of economic activities in the country, 1700 jobs had been created in recent months. He cited U.S funded dairy farming in Mogadishu which had since created 1500 jobs.

The U.S appointed its first ambassador to Somalia in 2015 and had hitherto maintained a mission before formally re-establishing its embassy.

 

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