The recently elected president of Somalia, Sheik Sharif Ahmed, announced in a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya that he plans to take a tour U.S. communities with large Somali populations. The communities in Minneapolis, Washington D.C. and Columbus, Ohio.
According to the Associated Press, the United Nations ambassador Elmi Duale said the Somali president wants to get advice for solving some of the problems his country faces.
Since the civil war began in the 1990’s, Somalians have fled the country to the United States, as the country has not had a functioning government since 1991.
Duale said the visitation will serve as a “two-way channel” to remind the Somalians in the United States that they can help remedy the situation in the war-torn country.
“It’s a way of showing the Somalis in diaspora the homeland considers them still part and parcel of the community, and they have responsibilities to help and assist,” he said.
Ahmed’s visit also comes as a federal investigation continues into the return to Somalia of several young Somalis from the Minneapolis area, apparently to join a terrorist jihad in Somalia.
Just last month, the U.N. said that Somalia is in the throws of the worst humanitarian crisis in nearly two decades.