Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the United States will officially recognize the Government of Somalia for the first time in twenty years. Congressman Ellison organized a meeting with the Somali President and 21 Members of Congress earlier this week.
"The United States officially recognizing the first Somali Government in two decades is nothing less than historic," Ellison said. "This move marks a bright new chapter in U.S.-Somali relations. The people of Somalia and their newly elected president, who I hosted on Capitol Hill this week, should be proud of this remarkable achievement.
"My constituents tell me that there is a new energy in Somalia. Al-Shabaab is on the run. New businesses are opening all the time. People can feel their country moving in the right direction. They want to rebuild the economy and improve their lives through education.
"At the same time, incredible challenges remain. Al-Shabaab no longer controls major cities, but they have not been eliminated. There is great humanitarian need and sexual violence still plagues the country. But these challenges are no longer viewed as insurmountable.
"I look forward to working with the Obama Administration and Somali families in Minnesota to strengthen the U.S.-Somali relationship and promote peace and prosperity in Somalia."