WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama
determined on Monday that Somalia may receive US military
assistance, a step seen as a sign of improving relations with a
country grappling to contain militants linked to al-Qaida.
Obama issued a memo to Secretary of State John Kerry
is eligible for "defense articles and defense
services" under U.S. arms export and foreign aid laws.
Security in the Somali capital of Mogadishu
since the Islamist group al-Shabaab
fled the city after a
military offensive in August 2011. Bombings and assassinations
are still frequent.
A senior Obama administration
official said the aid
authorization reflects a move by the United States
normal relations with Somalia