The African Union (AU) has named Ghana’s former president, John Mahama as its High Representative to Somalia.
The former Ghanaian leader has been tasked by the AU to try and resolve the dire political crisis in Somalia.
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.
The spark of violence signaled the dire political crisis in Somalia which could further degenerate.
When president Mohamed signed off the approval to stay in power for extra two years, the African Union condemned it.
But early this month the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, welcomed “the decision by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament of Somalia to reinstate the 17 September 2020 Agreement as the basis for the upcoming elections, following the request by H.E. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed”.
President Farmaajo was commended “for putting the interests of the Somali people first. The Chairperson also welcomes the lead role accorded to the Prime Minister to prepare for peaceful, credible and transparent elections and ensure its security.”
The statement on May 2 said “the Chairperson notes that the AU High Representative to serve as Special Envoy on Somalia’s political track, will be appointed, imminently.”
In a statement on Saturday, the African Union said Ghanaian ex-president Mahama is tasked to ensure there is “a mutually acceptable compromise towards an all-encompassing resolution for the holding of Somali elections in the shortest possible time.”
John Mahama himself contested last year’s presidential election in Ghana which he lost to incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo.
He challenged the results in court, but the case was also dismissed by Ghana’s Supreme Court.