The United States has reportedly re-opened its embassy in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, nearly three decades after it was shut down.
Somalia has been gripped by violence and political instability since 1991 when autocrat Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted by various warlords. Washington closed its embassy in January 1991.
The U.S. embassy to Somalia released a statement that said that the step was a milestone in the strengthening of relations between the two countries and would help advance stability and development in Somalia, reported Africa News.
“The United States is proud to announce the reestablishment of the United States Embassy in Mogadishu,” the United States Mission to Somalia said in the statement.
It said despite closing the embassy, the U.S. has never ignored Somalia or ceased dealing with the country.
“Since the closure on January 5, 1991, the United States has maintained its partnership with the Somali people, including the re-establishment of a permanent diplomatic presence in Mogadishu in December 2018 with the U.S. Mission to Somalia,” the statement read.
The announcement follows the Somali Partnership Forum, a two-day meeting between Somali leaders and international community held in Mogadishu for the first time. During the meeting, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced a package of $257 million in new humanitarian assistance to Somalia. The package brings U.S. total assistance to Somalia to just under a half-billion dollars this year.
Last month, Somalia also opened its first permanent embassy building in the US capital, Washington. While inaugurating the embassy building, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said he hopes opening of the new embassy in the U.S. would mark the start of a new dawn as the Horn of Africa country continues to revive its economy.