Somalia government recognized by US after 2 decades


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks next to Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during a news conference on January 17, 2013 in Washington, DC in which the US government formally recognized Somalia's government.


Justin Sullivan

The United States has formally recognized the Somali government for the first time in two decades.

Somalia descended into chaos in 1991 and has had a number of transitional governments until recently.

"There is still a long way to go and many challenges to confront, but we have seen a new foundation for that better future being laid," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday standing alongside Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, reported CNN.

The country was plunged into a civil war in 1991 with the overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre.

Clans and factions battled for control of the country's capital Mogadishu causing a humanitarian disaster in the country.

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A famine in 1992 provoked Operation Restore Hope to bring food aid into the capital ending in a disaster for the US military that inspired the film "Black Hawk Down."

Recently Al Qaeda linked al-Shabab militants took over large swathes of the country's south until they were forced out by Somali security forces with help from an African Union mission.

The militant group is still operating in the country but they have been pushed from their strongholds.

"Al Shabab has been driven from Mogadishu and every other major city in Somalia," said Clinton during the speech, reported Al Jazeera.

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