IMF recognises Somalia government after 22-year break

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (file image) President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's government is winning approval from international donors

The International Monetary Fund has recognised the government of Somalia after a break in relations of 22 years.

The move could enable the IMF to provide technical support and policy advice to the impoverished country in the Horn of Africa.

However, the IMF will not lend money to Somalia until it clears a $352m (£230m) debt it owes to the organisation.

Somalia has been slowly rebuilding itself following two decades of civil conflict.

"The International Monetary Fund today recognised the federal government of Somalia, headed by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, paving the way for the resumption of relations after a 22-year interval," the IMF said in a statement.

"The decision is consistent with broad international support and recognition of the Federal Government."

Although Somalia has been an IMF member since August 1962, the years of civil war meant there was no government with which the fund could deal.

International donors have slowly been re-engaging with the Mogadishu government since President Mohamud's election last year.

It was the first vote of its kind in the country since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

The US officially recognised Somalia in January, acknowledging the new government's progress towards political stability and attempts to end the insurgency by Islamist militants al-Shabab.

Although Washington never formally cut diplomatic ties with Somalia, the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident - in which 18 US servicemen died after militia fighters shot down two US military helicopters - marked the country's descent into anarchy.

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