China To Reopen Embassy in Somalia After 23 Years Closure

China To Reopen Embassy in Somalia After 23 Years Closure

China say it will reopen its embassy in Somalia after a 23-year absence as the horn of Africa nation crumbled under civil war and Islamists insurgency  for over two decades, Reuters reported.

China’s foreign ministry said on Monday the east African nation had made remarkable progress in restoring peace and the emerging Asian Giant will send a delegation to Somalia on July 1 to reopen the embassy , which was closed in 1991.

“China’s reopening of the embassy in Somalia is a signal that China attaches great importance to relations with Somalia,” Reuters quoted China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei saying at a daily briefing.

Once written off as a failed state, Somalia now has its most legitimate government for decades since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s election in 2012, but the government still struggles to exert influence beyond the capital and is plagued by recent attacks by Al Shabaab.

China’s announcement comes just over three weeks after the United States said it will appoint a new ambassador to Mogadishu for the first time since closing its embassy there 23 years ago.

Britain and Turkey have both opened embassies in Somalia and other countries, including Iran, are also vying for influence in the Horn of Africa nation.