US official urges Somalia's government to protect vulnerable people, uphold human rights

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The top United States State Department official for Africa is urging Somalia's government to do more to protect its most vulnerable people, especially women, and to respect the rule of law.

Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who is visiting Somalia, said in a statement Saturday that Somalia's long-term stability "requires more than just a security response to the threats posed by terrorists."

The statement said the U.S. wants to see a Somali government that can protect its people.

Somalia's government controls only small parts of the country and struggles to provide security and battle corruption, although there are signs of political progress following years of turmoil.

Somali lawmakers recently voted to oust the prime minister and his Cabinet, action seen by some as signaling the growth of Somalia's institutions.