US reopens diplomatic mission in Somalia after 28-year closure

The US mission was closed in 1991 amid fighting between rebels and the government.
MogadishuImage copyrightReuters
Image caption Security has improved in Mogadishu although al-Shabab remains a threat

The US has established its first diplomatic presence in Somalia for nearly 30 years.

The state department said the "historic event" reflected the progress the east African nation had made.

Ambassador Donald Yamamoto is heading the embassy in Mogadishu. Previously it had been based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The US closed its embassy in Somalia in January 1991 amid fighting between rebels and the government and had to airlift out its ambassador and staff.

Al-Shabab threat

Commenting on the latest move, state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement: "This historic event reflects Somalia's progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalising US diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognising the Federal Government of Somalia in 2013."

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