U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after addressing reporters at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after addressing reporters at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Photo of the Week: U.S. Recognizes the Government of Somalia

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on January 17, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote’s Managing Editor.

On January 17, 2013, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Washington, D.C., and announced that the United States is recognizing the Government of Somalia for the first time since 1991. Secretary Clinton said, “Today is a milestone. It’s not the end of the journey but it’s an important milestone to that end.”

"Somalia’s transformation was achieved first and foremost by the people and leaders of Somalia, backed by strong, African-led support. We also want to thank the African Union, which deserves a great deal of credit for Somalia’s success," Secretary Clinton said. "The United States was proud to support this effort."

President Hassan Sheikh said, “Somalia is very grateful for the unwavering support from the United… more »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on January 17, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2013/01/202998.htm

Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks With President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud After Their Meeting

Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
January 17, 2013


SECRETARY CLINTON: I am delighted to announce that for the first time since 1991, the United States is recognizing the Government of Somalia.

Now before I talk about what comes next for this partnership, it is worth taking a moment to remember how we got here and how far we have come together. When I entered the State Department in January 2009, al-Shabaab controlled most of Mogadishu and south and central Somalia. It looked at the time like it would even gain more territory. The people of Somalia had already endured many years of violence and isolation, and we wanted to change that. We wanted to work together, not only with the people of Somalia but with governments across the region, the international community, and other likeminded friends. MORE

Republic of Seychelles Conviction of Pirates

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 7, 2012


We welcome the November 5 sentencing by the Republic of Seychelles of 15 in connection with an attack on a merchant ship and the abduction of 13 Iranian fishermen rescued by the U.S. Navy. This sentencing brings the total number of convicted pirates to 631 – 98 in Seychelles alone – with 440 other suspected pirates facing justice in 21 countries, including the United States.

We appreciate Seychelles’ regional leadership on counter-piracy, as seen in their willingness to prosecute and incarcerate Somali pirates, as well as their hosting of a regional intelligence coordination center to support future piracy prosecutions. The sentencing marks a positive step forward for building a strong and unified international response against piracy originating from Somalia and for promoting freedom of navigation worldwide.

Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s Travel to Somalia

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 4, 2012


On November 4, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman visited Mogadishu, Somalia to meet with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud, Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohammed Osman Jawari, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia, and leaders of Somalia’s civil society and business community. Under Secretary Sherman is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Somalia in more than twenty years, and her visit underscored the U.S. Government’s commitment to Somalia’s stabilization efforts.

Under Secretary Sherman welcomed the announcement by Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon that he has named his new cabinet. Under Secretary Sherman noted that the United States is pleased to see that the new cabinet includes two women, which is a positive reflection of the important role women play in all aspects of Somali life. Somalia’s parliamentarians will soon meet to consider the new cabinet.

In her comments to senior Somali officials, Under Secretary Sherman stressed her conviction that Somalia is now a place of hope, not of despair. She congratulated the Somali President and Speaker of Parliament on the important political progress made in Somalia, including the August 20 formation of Parliament and September 10 election of President Hassan Sheikh. The Under Secretary affirmed the centrality of the Somali government and people in guiding international support to the country. MORE

Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton in Kenya

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with meets with Somali Roadmap Signatories at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 4, 2012. Across the table from Clinton is Somalia President Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. [AP Photo]

More: Trip Page | Interactive Travel Map

On August 4, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Kenya, where she met President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, Chief Justice Mutunga, and other government officials to emphasize her support for transparent, credible, nonviolent national elections in 2013. The Secretary also met with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and civil society leaders.

In remarks at a meeting with U.S. Embassy Nairobi staff and families, Secretary Clinton said, “These will be critical elections. Because of the violence in 2007, Kenya lost more than a billion dollars in investment. The GDP dropped significantly. And when government leaders ask me to help them do more to bring business and investment to this country, my quick response is then you do your part to make sure this election is free, fair, and transparent and that all Kenyans accept the results, and do your part to speak out against divisiveness, against anything that would undermine the unity of this country. Because ultimately these elections are totally within the control of the Kenyans themselves, but the United States, as your friend and your partner, want to do all we can to make sure that they are successful.”

While in Nairobi, Secretary Clinton met with President Sheikh Sharif and other signatories to the Roadmap to End the Transition and underscored U.S. support for completing the political transition in Somalia by August.

Secretary Clinton is on travel to Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa July 31 through August 10. You can follow her trip to Africa onwww.state.gov.

Adoption of Somalia’s Provisional Constitution

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 2, 2012


On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I want to congratulate the members of the Somali National Constituent Assembly and the Somali people on yesterday’s historic vote to approve Somalia’s Provisional Constitution. By laying the foundations for a mutually agreed upon system of governance, this vote moves Somalia closer towards lasting stability.

Made up of 825 Somalis from across the country, the National Constituent Assembly represented the diverse concerns of the nation as it reviewed and ultimately approved the Provisional Constitution. Despite significant logistical difficulties, political pressure, death threats, and two attacks on the National Constituent Assembly venue, this vote affirms that the Somali people will not be intimidated by violence as they work to rebuild their country. The people of the United States applaud the members of the National Constituent Assembly for their dedication and conviction. MORE

Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Travels to Africa

Secretary Clinton boards plane in Beirut, Lebanon, April 26, 2009. [State Department Photo]

More: Trip Page | Interactive Travel Map

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Africa, July 31 through August 10, 2012. On her trip, she will make stops in Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa. Throughout the trip, Secretary Clinton will emphasize U.S. policy commitments outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive — to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security, as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens.

In Senegal, Secretary Clinton will meet President Sall and other national leaders, as well as deliver a speech applauding the resilience of Senegal’s democratic institutions and…more »

One Year After Famine: The Need for a Continued Comprehensive Response

A Somali child who recently arrived at a refugee camp in Dolo, Somalia sits under a tree while waiting for food rations on July 18, 2012. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Nancy Lindborg serves as Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

On July 20, 2011, I got a call from Dina Esposito, USAID’s Director of the Office of Food for Peace, alerting me of the official declaration of famine in Somalia. That moment, more than a year ago, is still deeply, vividly and painfully with me.

Famines are entirely man-made and have become increasingly rare. In my confirmation hearing, I quoted Amartya Sen’s famous words that famines don’t happen in democracies. So as the worst drought in 60 years gripped the Horn of Africa last year, it was only in Somalia, racked by 20 years of conflict and instability, and with limited access for humanitarian action, that famine was declared. The United States’ commitment and long-term work with Ethiopia, Kenya, and many of their neighbors have reduced… more »