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Obama paves the way for military aid to Somalia.
A Monday memo from President Barack Obama cleared Somalia for receiving US "defense articles and defense services" under American and international law, a move toward normalization with the eastern African nation, according to Reuters.
Obama told Secretary of State John Kerry the move is "not based on any particular new threat assessment or any specific plans to undertake action," said Reuters. US security assistance to the country amounted to $133 million in the past six years, according to Agence-France Press.
Violence is down but still not infrequent in Somalia, where al-Qaeda-linked rebels were recently forced from the capital after gaining a stronghold there and elsewhere in the country.
Obama's decision came a month after the United Nations Security Council decided to lift an arms embargo against the country for a year, reported AFP.
Nevertheless, the US move does not signal an accelerated American military activity in regards to the country, said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
"It does not constitute a decision to provide particular assistance or to change the nature or our assistance for Somalia's security sector," Hayden told Reuters