Tuesday, May 5, 2015

US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a historic surprise visit to Somalia

Mogadishu, May 05 - US Secretary of State John Kerry made unannounced historic visit to Mogadishu to meet with Somali leaders from the national government and those from the Federal States to discuss bilateral issues mainly focused on security, reconstruction of Somalia and anti terrorism efforts in the first ever visit by a sitting US Secretary of State in the Horn of African country, a security official confirmed on Tuesday.

Kerry visit to Somalia came after his first visit to Kenya where he had a video conference chat with Somali refugees at the Dadaab refugee camps home to over half a million Somali refugees amid rising tensions in Kenya following a series of terror attacks in the East African country blamed on Somalia militant group UGUS or the Union of the Massacre of Somali Community, a new name brandished by the government.

Kerry pledged US assistance to the Somali refugees and urged Kenyan not to withdraw its forces from Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping Mission in Somalia.

Mogadishu was locked down ahead of Kerry's visit which was never made public leaving local and international media to speculate about the visit.

"John Kerry secretly came to Mogadishu to meet with Somalia President, Prime Minister and a few other Somali leaser to discuss security especially on the ongoing US led counter terrorism operations in Somalia as well as discuss US reconstruction efforts and support to Somalia. His visit was kept a secret to avoid any security lapses due to the volatile security situation in Somalia," a female security official who did not wish to be named told www.guledmohamedblogspot.com

Somalia, is a strategic country located in the Horn of Africa where the US has vast interests ranging from hydrocarbon drilling to the control of the busy Indian Ocean sea trade via the Gulf of Aden. However, the country is slowly recovering from over two decades of civil war and is now battling an Al-Qaeda affiliated UGUS militants.

The US is Somalia's biggest financial backer, trains and supports the Somalia national army and is also the single biggest funder of humanitarian activities in the Horn of African country directly through USAID or through the UN and international humanitarian agencies.