John Mahama, a former president of Ghana, has been appointed as the African Union (AU) High Representative to Somalia, AU Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has said.
“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 time possible,” the AU statement said.
Mahama will be supported by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), a peace keeping mission operated by the AU in Somalia with approval by the UN to ensure that the mediation efforts and the peace support operation work together seamlessly.
The AU chairperson has called on the Somali stakeholders to negotiate in good faith, and to put the interests of Somalia and the well-being of the Somali people above all else in the search for an inclusive settlement to the electoral crisis.
“This should usher in a democratically elected government with the legitimacy and mandate to resolve the remaining outstanding political and constitutional issues that are posing a threat to the stability of the country and the region as a whole.”
Somalia has witnessed heightened tension in recent weeks after the incumbent president decided to approve an extension to his tenure in office by two years.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s move sparked anger resulting in clashes between his supporters and some of his critics.
Soldiers loyal to his government and those opposed to him clashed last month in the capital, Mogadishu.