It’s been 23 years since the United States has had an embassy in perennially war-torn Somalia — best known for warring militias, chaos and pirates. (Remember the great Tom Hanks movie “Captain Phillips” last year?)
But in the hope that things might begin improving, we’re told, the administration is planning to name an ambassador to Mogadishu (scene of the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” tragedy), Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Tuesday in a talk at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
— Marie Harf (@marieharf) June 3, 2014
For the time being, she said, that envoy will be based in Nairobi, Kenya, which is where a diplomatic team, headed by a special representative, travels back and forth to Somalia. But, as conditions and relations improve — although car bombs and other attacks by al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels continue, the idea is to have an actual embassy once again in Somalia.
No nominee to announce yet, State officials told us, but bundlers are unlikely to fight over this one. We’re betting that the lucky person will be a career Foreign Service Officer. If that’s the case, there’s probably no reason to rush. That nominee will just, as we’ve written, join the 20 other career ambassadorial nominees, many of whom have been held hostage for up to a year on the Senate floor as a result of the “nuclear option” fallout.