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UN Somalia representative opens Mogadishu office

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – The U.N.’s special representative to Somalia is moving his office to Mogadishu for the first time in 17 years.

Augustine Mahiga said Tuesday that he hopes the move to Mogadishu marks the start of renewed hope for the future of Somalia, which hasn’t had a fully functioning government in more than two decades.

Mahiga said that being in the Somali capital will allow the U.N. to work more closely with the country’s Transitional Federal Government. The government’s mandate is up in August.

Mahiga was previously based in Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya. Several other U.N. agencies have already had a permanent presence in the Somali capital for over a year. But the last U.N. special representative based in Somalia left the country in 1995.

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