4th March 2024

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Ilhan Omar condemned on social media after passionate speech supporting Somalia

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was harshly criticized by conservatives on social media on Sunday after a video was shared showing her speaking about her support for Somalia, the nation from which she hails.

In the video, the liberal Minnesota leader was addressing a crowd in a Minneapolis hotel when she spoke about Somaliland and the unrecognized state’s deal with Ethiopia, which Somalia alleges infringes on its territory.

The video shared on X contains an English translation, which has not been verified by the Washington Examiner, though Omar’s response suggests the translation could be at least largely accurate. The translation includes Omar saying she’s in Congress to represent Somali Americans’ interests and that the “U.S. will do what we want and nothing else.”

While it appears Omar was speaking to a largely Somali American crowd and showing support for her constituents and their motherland, many prominent users on X took issue with the video.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA), often a critic of Omar, wrote that the Democratic “Squad” member “flaunts using her position as congresswoman to protect Somalia’s border while our border is invaded by MILLIONS of illegals who are a danger to America,” stressing the need for citizens to vote in November.

Responding to an “Israel War Room” page post of the video, former Republican Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman wrote, “Ilhan Omar is a disgraceful representative.” Many other prominent conservatives directed their ire at the Minnesota lawmaker.

Omar responded to the controversy by replying to a comment on the clip, in which a researcher wrote, “This interpretation is slanted. Omar says she is representing the interests of Somalis in the United States, which is a legitimate task, as a Congresswoman in any democratic system. She says at the end that all the five territories will be liberated, but it appears rhetorical.”

“It’s not only slanted but completely off, but I wouldn’t expect more from these propagandists,” Omar wrote in response. “I pray for them and for their sanity. No nation state can survive if its states start to get involved in land lease negotiations with other countries without the consent of the federal government. Somalis in Somalia and in the diaspora are united in that effort and I stand in solidarity with them. No amount of harassment and lies will ever change that.”


The Minnesota Democrat was referring to Ethiopia’s memorandum of understanding with Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, in which Somaliland agreed to lease part of its coastland to Ethiopia, a landlocked country.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told Al Jazeera that Ethiopian assets would have to cross into Somalia’s territory to get to the leased area, and if they do, it “will be a problem at a different level.”