The United States has formally recognized the government of Somalia for the first time in more than 20 years.
Following a successful political transition and several key steps toward establishing democratic rule there, the United States has formally recognized the government of Somalia for the first time in more than 20 years.
By the announcement, made January 17 during a visit by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to Washington, our nation is demonstrating its strong relationship with the Somali people and committing to sustained diplomatic engagement with the Somali authorities.
The U.S. never cut diplomatic ties with Somalia, but for years following the fall of its one-time leader Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, the east African nation lacked a credible central government with which to deal. President Mohamud was elected by parliament last year after the adoption of a provisional constitution, culminating a long transition process supported by the U.S., the United Nations and others in the international community.
Over the past year, Somalia has made great political and security progress. Somalia's National Army, with the aid of the U.S. and its neighbors, has been able to turn back a campaign by al-Qaeda-backed al-Shabaab insurgents who had seized control of southern and central areas of the country.
“Today is a milestone,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she announced the United States’ recognition of Somalia. "It is not the end of the journey, but an important milestone toward that end.”
Along with other partners, the United States has played a significant role in getting Somalia to where it is today, with humanitarian, democracy and governance aid as well as security sector assistance. Our commitment to continued support for the Somali people remains strong.