28 Years Later, US Reopens Own Embassy in Somalia

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The United States has reopened its embassy in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, nearly three decades after it was shut down, underscoring deepening ties between the two nations amid persisting threats from Islamist group al Shabaab.

The United States closed its embassy in January 1991 due to the widespread lawlessness and violence that followed the ousting of the autocrat, Mohamed Siad Barre by various warlords.

In a statement, the U.S. embassy to Somalia said the move was a milestone in the strengthening of relations between the two countries and would help advance stability and development in Somalia.

“It is a significant and historic day that reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years,” the U.S. ambassador to Somalia, Donald Yamamoto, was quoted as saying.

The embassy, he said, would act “to enhance cooperation, advance U.S. national strategic interests, and support our overall security, political, and economic development.”

The re-opening of the embassy builds on the re-establishment of a permanent U.S. diplomatic presence in Mogadishu last year.

This development comes hardly a week after Somalia opened its first permanent embassy building in the US capital, Washington.

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