Updated: February 24, 2021
More than two decades after closing its embassy in Somalia, the United States has re-established a permanent diplomatic presence in the East African county, the U.S. Department of State announced on Tuesday.
“This historic event reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalizing US diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognizing the Federal Government of Somalia in 2013,” department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
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The US closed its embassy in Mogadishu in January 1991 after the overthrow of the country’s President.
In 2015, the U.S. re-established diplomatic ties with Somalia but it located its diplomatic mission in neighboring Kenya.
President Donald Trump tapped Donald Yamamoto earlier this year to be the permanent US ambassador to Somalia.
The nomination was confirmed by the Senate in October and Nauert’s statement on Tuesday said, “Yamamoto and his staff look forward” to working with the Somalian government.
Somalia has been a regular focus of US counterterror efforts. US military strikes in Somalia often target suspected fighters for ISIS and other terror groups in the region.