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Trump nominates ambassador to Somalia after 10 months’ hiatus

Storyline:National News
File: New Trump appointee to head the US Mission to Somalia Donald Yamamoto. Photo: online

President Donald Trump has nominated career diplomat Donald Yamamoto as ambassador to Somalia ten months after former envoy resigned under unclear circumstances.

The White House announced Wednesday Trump’s intent to nominate Yamamoto to head the US Mission in Somalia which at the moment is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

Yamamoto is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs. The diplomat formerly served as ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti and has also variously served in multiple tours in Africa according to a White House statement.

Former US ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz resigned las October barely a year into the job citing personal reasons. He was the second nominee to the post after President Barack Obama’s appointee Katherine Dhanani declined to take up the post in May 2015.

Barely two months into Schwartz’s exit, another senior diplomat in the US Mission for Somalia Elizabeth Shackelford quit accusing President Trump over his human rights record.

“President Trump’s dismissive attitude toward human rights was no surprise following his campaign, but your May 3 remarks to Department staff shocked many as you called into question the utility of advancing human rights when it proves inconvenient,” Shackelford said in a hard-hitting op-ed published in the Foreign Policy magazine.

Mr Yamamoto earned an A.B. and M.A from Columbia University and an M.S. from the National War College. He is the recipient of 22 awards from the State Department, the White House said. The US recognized the Somali Government in 2013 following two decades of political turmoil and state collapse.

The appointee is subject to vetting by the US Senate.

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