Kerry Makes Unannounced Visit to Somalia
John Kerry has made an unannounced visit to Somalia, the first US secretary of state to visit the Horn of Africa nation that is struggling to rebuild after two decades of war and battling an armed campaign by the group al-Shabab.
Kerry will meet Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the prime minister, provincial leaders and civilian groups, US officials said.
Details of the trip were based on a dispatch from a reporter who was travelling with Kerry.
Somali officials were also kept in the dark, initially being told a lower ranking official was coming to the country where US troops supported a humanitarian mission in 1992 but suffered heavy losses when they were drawn into the conflict.
The trip “will send a strong signal to al-Shabab that we are not turning our backs on the Somali people and will continue to engage with Somalia until we bring al-Shabab terror to an end”, a senior US state department official said.