The United States reopened its embassy in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. This comes nearly three decades after it was shut as the Horn of Africa nation plunged into civil war.
Washington decided to close its embassy during the 1991 overthrow of then-President Siad Barre’s military regime which ushered in decades of chaos. However, diplomatic relations between the nations have strengthened in recent years.
“Today we reaffirm the relations between the American people and the Somali people, and our two nations,” said Donald Yamamoto, the US ambassador to Somalia.
“It is a significant and historic day that reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years, and another step forward in regularising US diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognising the federal government of Somalia in 2013,” he added.
— U.S. Embassy Mogadishu, Somalia (@US2SOMALIA) October 2, 2019
While a permanent diplomatic presence was established in Mogadishu in December 2018, it was operated out of Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya.
In his statement, Yamamoto observed that the US embassy in Mogadishu “will act to enhance cooperation, advance US national strategic interests, and support our overall security, political, and economic development goals and objectives.”