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U.S. re-establishes 'permanent diplomatic presence' in Somalia

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The United States says it has re-established a "permanent diplomatic presence" in Somalia for the first time in 27 years.

The State Department on Tuesday says "this historic event reflects Somalia's progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalizing U.S. diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu."

The U.S. closed its Somalia embassy in January 1991 as the country collapsed into civil war, with the military airlifting out the ambassador and others.

The U.S. formally recognized Somalia's new federal government in 2013 but has based its diplomatic mission in the capital of neighboring Kenya.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry during a surprise 2015 visit to Somalia said the U.S. would begin the process of re-establishing a diplomatic presence.

New Ambassador Donald Yamamoto arrived at the U.S. mission last month.

Full statement:

On December 2, for the first time since the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu on January 5, 1991, the United States reestablished a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia. This historic event reflects Somalia's progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalizing U.S. diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognizing the Federal Government of Somalia in 2013. Our return demonstrates the United States' commitment to further advance stability, democracy, and economic development that are in the interest of both nations. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto and his staff look forward to working closely with the people and the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen our already close bilateral relationship in furtherance of these shared goals.