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General News of Friday, 14 May 2021

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Somali NSF backs Mahama’s appointment as Mediator in row with Kenya

Former Ghana President, John Mahama Former Ghana President, John Mahama

Somalia’s main political alliance, the National Salvation Forum has welcomed the appointment of Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama as the AU High Representative to Somalia to help mediate its political impasse with Kenya.

This is despite Somalia’s earlier rejection of the appointment of the African Union’s (AU) special envoy.

In a letter by the Somali National Salvation Forum (NSF) addressed to H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of African Union Commission and sighted by Kasapafmonline.com said it’s deeply concerned by what it calls a “unilateral decision of the acting Federal Government of Somalia to withdraw its support for President Mahama’s appointment.”

The party thus contends it has absolute faith in the AU special envoy to mediate well in the current impasse citing Mr. Mahama’s commitment as he has already hit the ground running with meaningful consensus with relevant domestic and international actors.

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs’ letter to you of 9 May cites the “present consensus” on the holding of elections as primary justification for the government’s rejection of the High Representative.

“The agreement in principle between Somali political stakeholders to engage in a dialogue led by H.E. Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble in no way precludes the immense value that an African Union envoy, especially a statesman of President Mahama’s experience and stature, would bring to the process – especially since the Somali people have been so poorly served by AMISOM’s current political leadership.

“In addition, the “present consensus” does not extend to the withdrawal of support for the appointment of an AU High Representative. The NSF and other political stakeholders were not consulted on the administration’s decision, strongly disagree with its position, and urge the African Union not to abandon President Mahama’s mission before he has even had the opportunity to visit Somalia and consult with relevant domestic and international actors.

“The NSF also condemns the administration’s gratuitous affront to President Mahama’s impartiality, without offering any substantive basis for its concerns. The NSF affirms its full confidence in the High Representative’s capacity to discharge his responsibilities with integrity and neutrality.”

Background

Somalia had argued that the former Head of State[Mahama] has “extensive links” with Kenya, and has written to AU Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat notifying him that Somalia will no longer support Mr Mahama in his new role.

Mohamed Abdirazak, Somalia’s Foreign and International Cooperation Minister, said the Ghanaian ex-leader is closely associated with the leadership in Kenya, as a result of this, Mr Mahama cannot be trusted to be impartial and deliver an acceptable solution.

Mr Abdirazak in a correspondence claimed that the AU did not thoroughly scrutinise Mr Mahama’s background before appointing him to the role.

“It is indeed surprising that a candidate with extensive links with Kenya’s leadership has been chosen by the AU to facilitate talks on a political impasse partly engineered by those the Kenyan leadership has supported,” says the letter dated May 9 but which was circulated among diplomats on Tuesday.

“Given the politically sensitive nature of the task of a high representative in any case, I am certain you will appreciate the importance of any candidate for such a post to be seen as impartial and without any links to the region.”

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