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Somalia’s president gives up US citizenship, but unclear why

Posted at 5:19 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 08:19:16-04

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The office of Somalia’s president says he is giving up his United States citizenship but it is not immediately clear why.

A statement posted on Twitter on Thursday says President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed made the decision voluntarily, with lawyers involved. It says Somalia’s constitution allows for dual citizenship. Many in Somalia’s diaspora have it after fleeing the country long gripped by conflict.

Mohamed lived for many years in the United States, working as a New York state transportation department official in Buffalo before being elected Somalia’s president in February 2017.

During his time in office the U.S. has dramatically increased airstrikes against the Somali-based al-Shabab extremist group, re-established its diplomatic presence in Somalia and even presented Mohamed with a trucker cap that said “Make Somalia Great Again.”