US to recognise Somali government

Secretary of state Hillary Clinton will announce shift in meeting with Somali president, ending 20-year hiatus.

    US to recognise Somali government
    US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will announce the shift in a meeting with the Somali president [Reuters]

    The United States will recognise the Somali government in Mogadishu, ending a diplomatic hiatus that has lasted more than 20 years, a senior US official said.

    US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will announce the shift during a meeting on Thursday with visiting Somali president Hassan Sheikkh Mohamud, whose election last year marked the first vote of its kind since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, assistant secretary of state Johnnie Carson told reporters on Wednesday.

    "When the secretary meets with Hassan Sheikh tomorrow, she will exchange diplomatic notes with him and recognise the Somali government in Mogadishu for the first time in 20 years," Carson told a news briefing.

    The US never formally severed diplomatic ties with Somalia, whose slide into anarchy was highlighted by the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" incident which saw militia fighters shoot down two US military helicopters over Mogadishu.

    In subsequent years, Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab insurgents seized control of large areas in the south and central parts of the country before Ethiopian, Kenyan and African peacekeeping (AMISOM) troops began a long, US-supported counter-offensive aimed at restoring order.

    The formation of the new government, led by Mohamud, is the culmination of a regionally brokered, UN-backed effort to end close to two decades of fighting that has killed tens of thousands of people.

    Carson said the US decision to formally recognise the new government underscored the progress toward political stability that Somalia has made over the past year, including "breaking the back" of Al Shabab's insurgency.

    "We are a long way from where we were on October 3, 1993 when Black Hawk Down occurred," Carson said. "Significant progress has been made in stabilising the country, in helping to break up and defeat Al Shabab."

    "Much more needs to be done, but we think enormous progress has been made and we have been at the very centre of this in our support for AMISOM."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.