U.S. says plans to name an ambassador to Somalia

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Addis Ababa, 4 June 2014 (WIC) - US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, said on Tuesday (June 3) that there were hopeful signs of improvement in the security and economic conditions in Somalia.

As a result, and as “a reflection both of our deepening relationship with the country and of our faith that better times are ahead, the president will propose the first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in more than two decades” said Ms. Sherman.

She did not specify when the appointment would be made, but said it would be soon.  At the moment, a US diplomat based in Nairobi represents US interests in Somalia and the US State Department said the new ambassador would not be based in Mogadishu for the time being.

Sherman said a tough struggle to secure the country and rebuild its government, economy and infrastructure still remained, but now was the best time for a quarter of a century to start to realize hopes for  peace and prosperity.
Sherman said that "a small contingent of U.S. military personnel, including some special operations forces, have been present in parts of Somalia for several years."

Their aim was to work with Somali and AMISOM forces, providing information and advice on fighting Al-Shabaab.
This would continue as would military strikes, from time to time, “against a limited number of targets who have been determined to be part of al Qaeda," she said.