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Obama to name first US envoy to Somalia in 20 years

A young boy stands near the remains of a car on May 31, 2014 after it exploded the day before, close to Mogadishu's City Palace Hotel, in SomaliaPresident Barack Obama is set to name the first American ambassador to Somalia since the start of the brutal civil war more than 20 years ago, a top diplomat said Tuesday. “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 US ambassador to Somalia in more than two decades,” Undersecretary Wendy Sherman told a US think tank. But she would only say that the announcement from Obama, currently on a trip to Europe, was expected “soon” and confirmed that, initially, the new ambassador would be based in Nairobi, Kenya. Although the US never formally severed ties, the embassy in Mogadishu was closed in 1991 as Somalia descended into chaos amid a bloody power struggle among brutal warlords.

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