Prime News Ghana

John Mahama withdraws as AU's Somalia envoy

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
John Mahama
John Mahama
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Former President John Mahama has withdrawn his acceptance as a special African Union (AU) envoy to mediate talks over the political crisis in Somalia.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Mahama noted the lack of support by the Somali federal government.

He said the proposed assignment required that he "enjoy the unalloyed support and co-operation of all political stakeholders".

The AU appointed Mr Mahama as its special representative to Somalia on 7 May, but the Horn of Africa country questioned his impartiality.

The country last week formally rejected Mr Mahama's appointment, citing his "extensive links" with Kenya, saying it was important for such a person to be seen as impartial.

Relations between the two countries have been frayed in recent years, with Somalia accusing Kenya of meddling in its domestic political affairs - which Kenya denies.

A long-running maritime border dispute has also contributed to the stormy relations.

Full statement below: 

John Mahama withdraws acceptance as African Union Envoy to Somalia

Former President John Dramani Mahama has in a letter to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission withdrawn his acceptance of the continental body’s appointment as its High Representative for Somalia.

While thanking the AU for the confidence reposed in him, Mr. Mahama noted that, “the high political importance of the proposed assignment requires that the High Representative enjoy the unalloyed support and co-operation of all political stakeholders.”

President Mahama whose appointment as the AU envoy has been roundly welcomed by the Council of Presidential Candidates of Somalia, and the Coalition of Somalia’s Federal Member States, further cautioned in his letter to the AU Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, that the lack of support by the Federal Government could jeopardize the whole process and undermine the hopes that the entire world has in bringing peace to the esteemed land of Somalia.

The former Ghanaian President who continues to receive requests from various international bodies and groups and is widely respected for his commitment to democratic consolidation, peace building and development used the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to the African Union’s vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, that includes Somalia.

Joyce Bawah Mogtari
Special Aide
Thursday May 20, 2021