The Somali National Salvation Forum (NSF) has opposed a unilateral decision of the acting Federal Government of Somalia to withdraw its support for President John Mahama’s appointment as the AU High Representative.
This follows the appointment and subsequent rejection of former President Mahama as the AU High Representative to Somalia.
Mr Mahama was appointed to facilitate dialogue towards resolution of the current political and constitutional crisis and to finalize negotiations upon the framework and modalities for the conduct of elections for a Federal Parliament and President as soon as possible.
However, his appointment was subsequently rejected by the Federal Government of Somalia over claims that the former Head of State has “extensive links” with Kenya.
Mohamed Abdirazak, Somalia’s Foreign and International Cooperation Minister, says the Ghanaian ex-leader is closely associated with the leadership in Kenya, without specifying who in particular.
He said Mr Mahama cannot be trusted to be impartial and deliver an acceptable solution.
But responding to the claims, the group, a coalition of Somali Federal Member States, Council of Presidential Candidates, and Somaliland Political Council led by Speaker of Upper House of the Parliament, said it “strongly disagreed with the position of the Federal government.
It said in a statement that the Federal Government’s justification for rejecting the appointment is unfounded.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs’ letter to you of May 9 cites the “present consensus” on the holding of elections as a primary justification for the government’s rejection of the High Representative.
However, “the agreement in principle between Somali political stakeholders to engage in a dialogue led by 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 AMISOM’s current political leadership has so poorly served the Somali people.”
They add that they were not consulted before the decision was taken.
They, therefore, have urged 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.
They further extended their gratitude to the African Union Commission and the Member States, especially the Troop Contributing Countries to AMISOM, for their unswerving support for peace and security in Somalia.
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