News / Africa

US, Somalia Renew Diplomatic Ties After 20 Years

US and Somalia Renew Diplomatic Ties After 20 Yearsi
X
January 18, 2013 2:01 AM
The United States and Somalia have restored diplomatic relations for the first time in more than 20 years. The move allows Somalia's new leaders to regain international assistance as they fight al-Qaida affiliated terrorists. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
US and Somalia Renew Diplomatic Ties After 20 Years
The United States and Somalia have restored diplomatic relations for the first time in more than 20 years. The move allows Somalia's new leaders to regain international assistance as they fight al-Qaida affiliated terrorists.

African peacekeepers are patrolling the streets of Mogadishu, helping secure the capital for a new government bent on overcoming decades of chaos after the collapse of Siad Barre's rule in 1991.

At the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud marked the restoration of formal ties. President Mohamud said it's the start of a new era.

"Somalia is emerging from a very long, difficult period. And we are now moving away from instability, extremism, and piracy to an era of peace and development," Mohamud said.

Secretary Clinton called the occasion a testimony to Somali determination.

"The people and leaders of Somalia have fought and sacrificed to bring greater stability, security, and peace to their nation. There is still a long way to go and many challenges to confront. But we have seen a new foundation for that better future," Clinton said.

As President Mohamud's government restores services, including education, health care, and public safety, Somali refugees are beginning to return home from camps in Kenya.

Forces loyal to the new government fought alongside African peacekeepers to drive back Islamist militants of the al-Shabab group.

For now, President Mohamud still relies heavily on African peacekeepers to keep al-Shabab at bay.

But Secretary Clinton said the international community will continue to back efforts to combat the al-Qaida affiliates.

"The terrorists, as we have learned once again in the last days, are not resting.  And neither will we.  We will be very clear-eyed and realistic about the threat they continue to pose," she said.

Jennifer Cooke, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says President Mohamud faces serious challenges.

"He's still working within a political and a security context that is going to be extremely difficult.  Yes, Shabab is being pushed out of some of the big areas.  But Shabab doesn't need to do a whole lot to disrupt things in a big way in Mogadishu," Cooke said.

Cooke says President Mohamud's government is untainted by the corruption of its predecessors, but he must still navigate the factionalism and clan patronage of Somali politics.

"He is an individual working within a political context.  And so although there is an opportunity here, there is a lot that he has to do within a very narrow time frame to establish himself, his credibility, and the credibility of the institutions that he works within," Cooke said.

Restoring diplomatic ties means Somalia can establish new relationships with U.S. development agencies and with international financial institutions, including the World Bank.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ann Shannon from: Portland, OR
January 18, 2013 1:14 AM
This was an opportunity missed to emphasize the imperative that the government protect women, all women, from sexual predators. It was only a week ago that a journalist reporting on the gang rape of a woman in an IDP (internally displaced person) camp by government soldiers was arrested, along with the rape victim and the intermediary who set up the interview. The rape victim was severely beaten until she retracted her story before being released when her husband took her place in custody. Neither the journalist nor the intermediary have been allowed access to attorneys. A new government seeking international acceptance MUST face condemnation for prosecuting rape victims and journalists who uncover abuse while affording the rapists impunity! Shame on Secretary Clinton.
In Response

by: Kate Ibraham from: Canada,Toronto
January 18, 2013 11:24 AM
It is an opprtunity missed, Somalia is not peaceful not on the track either. Look at what happened to the French hostage.. What is going on I wonder , it looks like a political stage...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More