President Barack Obama has tapped the first United States ambassador to Somalia since 1991, filing a diplomatic spot that has been empty since war in Mogadishu, the capital city, forced the U.S. to evacuate all staff and close the embassy. On Tuesday, Obama selected career diplomat Simonds Dhanani for the post. According to the U.S. State Department, a temporary embassy will be based in the border country of Kenya until security conditions warrant the reestablishment of the American embassy in the capital of Somalia.
Somalia has been plagued by civil conflict since 1991 despite the creation of a new government that continuously struggles against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate in eastern Africa. Somalia, as well as other areas in eastern Africa, has been ravaged by attacks from al-Shabab for years, including threats this week to Western shopping centers.The U.S. State Department explained the nomination of the American diplomat to Somalia shows a sign of commitment to improve the government within the war-torn nation and further international relations.
By Alex Lemieux
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