US secretary of state John Kerry who arrived in the Somali capital Tuesday has held talks with Somali officials, telling them to make Mogadishu more peaceful, so that he can go down to downtown on his next arrival.
His arrival marks a new dawn for Somalia which is struggling to contain the deadly insurgency led by the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab group. He highlighted the US’s desire of supporting Somalia to restore peace and stability after decades of war.
Mr. Kerry then flew to Djibouti, a tiny horn of Africa nation which hosts the US’s largest military base. “Great progress has been made, and you have all contributed to that progress … most importantly, obviously, the need to provide your citizens with the safety and security that they want and need.” He
told Somali leaders at the airport.
His visit, the first by a US secretary in Somalia is parts of a visit he paid to East Africa, a region which seen the rise of Islamic insurgency that killed hundreds of the region’s citizens for the past few years.
Before his Somalia visit, Kerry has spent two days in Kenya where he held talks with president Uhuru Kenyatta, convincing Kenya to back down its controversial plan to repatriating Somali refugees in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya.
During his talks with the Somali president, Mr. Kerry highlighted the importance of defeating AL-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda branch which lost large grounds to the US-funded African Union forces and Somali forces.
Somalia is recovering from decades of war that turned the horn of Africa into a dangerous terrorist hub, raising concerns by western nations who believe it could serve as a launching pad for militants to
strike western targets.
The US’s new involvement in Somalia opens a new page for the US which pulled out of its troops from Somalia in 1991 after militias shot down Black Hawk down, an incident which forces the US to disengage Somalia for decades.
The US has recently appointed a new ambassador Somalia; however, they are yet to open the embassy, apparently for security reasons.