Obama nominates first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in more than 2 decades
Katherine S. Dhanani, a long-time diplomat since 1990 who most recently was the deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy in Harare, will serve as the U.S. ambassador to Somalia. The U.S. Senate will have to confirm her nomination.
The new ambassador would work out of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. “As security conditions permit, we look forward to increasing our diplomatic presence in Somalia and eventually reopening the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu,” the State Department said in a statement.
“This historic nomination signals the deepening relationship between the United States and Somalia,” the statement said. “It also allows us to mark the progress of the Somali people toward emerging from decades of conflict.”
The United States officially recognized Somalia’s government in January 2013 for the first time since 1991. Since the, the U.S. government has launched a new era of diplomatic relations with Somalia.
In 1993, the U.S. pulled its diplomats out of Mogadishu. Robert B. Oakley, who died Dec. 10, served as the last U.S. ambassador to Somalia between November 1992 and May 1993.