“The recognition of the Somali government by the United States is a turning point,” Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
“I would like to say to you: ‘Thank you, America!’” he added.
“Our forces and [African Union troops] are making huge progress” against al-Shabaab, which “gives us hope that al-Shabaab is defeated,” Mr. Mohamud said. “However, the threats remain the same as they still continue to carry out suicide bombings, roadside bombing, targeted assassinations and guerilla urban warfare tactics.”
On Thursday, al-Shabaab militants said that they had executed Denis Allex, a French intelligence officer who had been taken hostage in July of 2009. The militants said they killed Mr. Allex in retaliation to a botched French military raid to rescue him last weekend.
Warlords overthrew the President Mohamed Siad Barre’s government in 1991 opening a period of two decades of conflict and instability in Somalia. The U.S. intervention ended in 1993 after Somali militants shot down two Black Hawk helicopters and killed 18 U.S. soldiers on Oct. 3.
“We are a long way from where we were on October 3, 1993, when Black Hawk Down occurred in Mogadishu,” Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, said on Wednesday.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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