US Embassy In Somalia. Photo”Wikipedia

The United States on Tuesday said it has reopened its embassy in Somalia after 28-year closure.

The US closed its embassy in Mogadishu in January 1991 amid fighting between rebels and the government and had to airlift out its ambassador and staff.

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The State Department said the “historic event” reflected the progress the east African nation had made.

The department’s spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a statement: “This historic event reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalising US diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognising the Federal Government of Somalia in 2013.”

She added: “Our return demonstrates the United States’ commitment to further advance stability, democracy and economic development that are in the interest of both nations.”

Ambassador Donald Yamamoto is heading the embassy in Mogadishu. Previously it had been based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Security has improved in Mogadishu recently, although al-Shabab rebels remain a threat in regions around the capital.

Al-Shabab was forced out of the capital in August 2011 following an offensive spearheaded by African Union troops.