The top US diplomat for Africa met with the leader of the Republic of Somaliland on Sunday to discuss security in the war-wracked Horn of Africa region, the highest-ranking U.S. delegation to visit Somaliland.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer told reporters Washington would “continue working with Somaliland authorities on stability and peace,” shortly after meeting President Dahir Kahin Rayale.

The United States has long seen the lawless Horn region as strategically important and a breeding ground for militant Islamists seeking to launch attacks on U.S. interests.


Top US Diplomat For Africa Meets Somaliland LeaderSomaliland, in the northwestern corner of Somalia, broke away in 1991, when warlords toppled Dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre and plunged the country into gun-fueled anarchy.

It argues it should be given sovereignty since it has held democratic elections and achieved stability that has eluded the rest of a country largely torn between rival warlords.

Top US Diplomat For Africa Meets Somaliland LeaderBut no nation has yet recognized Somaliland’s claim to self-rule for fear of setting a precedent for other regions in Africa who might want to unilaterally declare autonomy.

“We will continue to work with the leaders of the African Union to recognize the decision that they would make on Somaliland’s recognition and independence,” Frazer told reporters.

Earlier this month, Rayale met with senior U.S. officials in Washington.

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