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US reopens embassy in Somalia nearly three decades after fleeing

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed addresses the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations headquarters Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in New York.

KEVIN HAGEN/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 2, 2019

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The United States says it has reopened its embassy in Somalia nearly three decades after the country collapsed into civil war and the U.S. military airlifted the ambassador to safety.

Wednesday’s statement says the opening reflects recent progress in the Horn of Africa nation that still faces frequent attacks by al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremists.

Al-Shabab on Monday attempted to storm the Belidogle military airstrip in southern Somalia that hosts Somali and U.S. forces and is used to launch drones that attack al-Shabab targets. The U.S. military says it has carried out 54 airstrikes against al-Shabab and a local Islamic State affiliate this year.

The U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu had closed in 1991. The U.S. formally recognized Somalia's new federal government in 2013 but had based its diplomatic mission in neighboring Kenya.
 

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