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Ghana: Why is Mahama quitting as AU’s mediator for Somalia?

Ex Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama earlier in May accepted his appointed by the African Union as its chief mediator…

Ex Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama earlier in May accepted his appointed by the African Union as its chief mediator in the political impasse in Somalia only to withdraw from the role a few weeks later.Mahama on May 7 accepted to be the AU’s special envoy to help mediate an end to the political crisis in Somalia which caused tension in the capital Mogadishu last month.

However, the 62-year old former president of Ghana issued a statement on Thursday lamenting the fact that he had failed to secure the “unalloyed support” of Somalia’s federal government and was therefore withdrawing from his role as mediator.

He said enjoying the co-operation of all stakeholders in the Somali crisis was imperative to the future success of his role as chief mediator but since this was not forthcoming due to issues of trust it was better for him to quit.

Despite repeated assurances by the AU, the government in Mogadishu raised questions surrounding Mahama’s impartiality given his alleged “close links” to Kenya with which Somalia has had strained relations. 

Mogadishu had therefore rejected Mahama as a mediator saying he could not be seen as capable of being impartial in striking a comprehensive deal agreeable to all sides of the political divide in Somalia.

Somalia and its neighbour Kenya have witnessed worsening relations in recent months with Mogadishu accusing Nairobi of “openly interfering” in its internal affairs.

Kenya has categorically denied the allegation.

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