MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A day after the U.S. officially recognized Somalia’s government for the first time in two decades, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called on Somalis living in Minnesota to help rebuild their war-torn homeland.
Mohamud spoke to about 4,000 people late Friday night at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Although most of his speech was in Somali, he said in English that it was, “the beginning of a new foundation.”
Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali Mission to the United Nations, said the president thanked the crowd in Somali and asked that they help rebuild the country with an emphasis on security, the economy and judicial system — either by returning to Somalia or from their homes in Minnesota. Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the U.S.
Jamal had traveled with Mohamud to Washington, D.C., where Secretary of State Hilary Clinton joined the Somali president on Thursday to announce the change in diplomatic relations. The U.S. recognition will help Somalia receive greater aid from the U.S.