News / Africa

Britain Re-opens Embassy in Somalia

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, right, shakes hands with Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, at the opening of the newly built British Embassy in the Somali capital Mogadishu, Apr. 25, 2013.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague, right, shakes hands with Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, at the opening of the newly built British Embassy in the Somali capital Mogadishu, Apr. 25, 2013.
Roopa Gogineni
— British Foreign Secretary William Hague flew to Mogadishu on Thursday to re-open the British Embassy - making his country the first Western nation to resume a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia in 22 years.

The British Embassy in central Mogadishu was forced to shut its doors in 1991 after Mohamed Siad Barre's government collapsed and Somalia plunged into chronic civil war.

Twenty-two years later, British diplomats are planning a return to Mogadishu.

Foreign Secretary William Hague attended a flag-raising ceremony at the site of a new embassy Thursday.

“I said we would open an embassy as soon as the security situation permitted it,"Hague said. "So it is a sign of confidence in the future that we are opening it.”

The reopening follows major strides made by African Union forces in securing the capital city from al-Shabab militants.

But the peace is tenuous. Just last week al-Shabab attacked a Mogadishu courthouse, killing or wounding dozens of people.

The new embassy sits in the airport compound behind mortar-proof sandbags and heavily guarded by African Union troops.

Hague expects this location to be temporary. "I hope over time this will be an embassy that is able to move into the city itself," he said.
 
Matt Baugh, the first British ambassador to Somalia in 21 years, was appointed last February but has been based in neighboring Kenya.
 
The Foreign Office is expected to soon announce a new ambassador to take up post in Mogadishu when the embassy becomes fully operational in late July.

Other nations are expected to follow the British Embassy's move from Nairobi to Mogadishu. Turkey, Iran, and Ethiopia have already reopened their embassies in the Somali capital.

On May 7, London will host its second international conference to coordinate the stabilization of Somalia. Prime Minister David Cameron has prioritized Somalia in his role as president of the G8.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid