Thousands of Mogadishu residents took to the streets Monday (January 21st) to show their support for renewed diplomatic relations between the United States and Somalia, UN-funded Radio Bar-Kulan reported.
The Benadir regional administration organised the demonstration at the former headquarters of the National Transport Association, near the presidential palace in Villa Somalia.
"I thank everyone for attending this peaceful gathering to support the US government's decision to recognise the Somali federal government for the first time in 22 years," said Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon in an address to the demonstrators, according to Somalia's Garowe Online. "The US government has stood by Somalia and its people through difficult times and we view the United States as an important ally and friend of Somalia."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on January 17th officially recognised the Somali government after meeting with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Washington. Shirdon called on governments who have not yet recognised the Somali government to follow the United States' lead.