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General News of Monday, 10 May 2021


Mahama's AU special envoy role: Somali opposition bloc welcomes appointment

John Dramani Mahama, recently appointed AU special envoy to Somalia John Dramani Mahama, recently appointed AU special envoy to Somalia

The African Union's recent appointment of Ghana's former president John Dramani Mahama as a special envoy to Somalia has been hailed by the major opposition bloc of the country.

Mahama's appointment was announced in a May 8 statement released by the Chairperson of the African union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

"As the High Representative for Somalia’s political track, President Mahama will work with the Somali stakeholders, to reach a mutually acceptable compromise towards an all-encompassing resolution for the holding of Somali elections in the shortest possible time.

"In fulfilling his mandate, the High Representative will be supported by AMISOM, to ensure that the mediation efforts and the peace support operation work together seamlessly," the appointment notice read in part.

A statemenmt from the Council of Presidential Candidates, CPC, read in part: "The Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) welcomes the appointment of former President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama as the African Union (AU) envoy to lead mediation efforts between the Federal Government of Somalia, regional Member States, the main electoral candidates for Somalia's presidency and civil society groups to pave the way for immediate commencement of delayed free and fair elctions in Somalia."

The Horn of Africa nation which has been wracked by insurgency mounted by Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab, has been plunged into an electoral crisis after the current president's tenure expired with no road map on how to hold elections.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo this week went back to parliament to reverse an 'unconstitutional' extension of his tenure by two years.

Weeks back, soldiers allied to opposition figures and the government had a showdown in the capital Mogadishu leading to heightened tension and fears of civil war breaking out.

The president whiles retaining control over the security forces ceded the process leading to the organization of the next elections to Prime Minister Mohammed Roble who has since met opposition leaders and started dialogue on how the process should be.

The African Union usually deploys envoys to country's mired in political conflicts. Years back former president Jerry John Rawlings also served as AU envoy to Somalia.

Ghana is also a contributor of police personnel to the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, which is a peacekeeping and combat force against Al-Shabaab.

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