The newly formed Somali National Salvation Forum (NSF) has declared its support for the African Union’s choice of John Mahama as its High Representative to Somalia.
It said it is against the unilateral decision of the Federal Government of Somalia to withdraw its support for President John Mahama’s appointment, citing his relationship with Kenya.
The Somali National Salvation Forum, a coalition of Somali Federal Member States, Council of Presidential Candidates and Somaliland Political Council led by Speaker of Upper House of the Parliament in a statement said it “welcomes the appointment of H.E. President John Dramani Mahama as the AU High Representative to Somalia in order 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”.
Last week, the African Union appointed former President John Dramani Mahama, as the High Representative to Somalia.
The African Union (AU) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat in a statement said, “As the High Representative for Somalia’s political track. 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… In fulfilling his mandate, the High Representative will be supported by AMISOM, to ensure that the mediation efforts and the peace support operation work together seamlessly”.
But Somalia’s Foreign and International Cooperation Minister, Mohamed Abdirazak in a letter to the AU said the Ghanaian ex-leader is closely associated with the leadership in Kenya hence it rejects his appointment.
But the Somali National Salvation Forum said it is surprised by the unilateral decision taken by the Somali government especially as the government is even yet to see how well Mahama will serve his duties in Somali.
“We are therefore deeply concerned by the unilateral decision of the acting Federal Government of Somalia to withdraw its support for President Mahama’s appointment. The Minister of Foreign Affairs’ letter to you of May 9 cites the “present consensus” on the holding of elections as primary justification for the government’s rejection of the High Representative,” the NSF said.
“The NSF also condemns the administration’s gratuitous affront to President Mahama’s impartiality, without offering any substantive basis for its concerns. The NSF affirms its full confidence in the High Representative’s capacity to discharge his responsibilities with integrity and neutrality,” it added.
The Forum said it is of the view that the government’s opposition to the choice of Mahama is because it is not committed to having a credible electoral process in Somalia.
“The NSF rejects the administration’s duplicitous, unilateral attempt to obstruct the appointment of an AU High Representative to Somalia. This represents a breach of good faith that calls into doubt former President Farmaajo’s commitment to a credible electoral process, undermines the political independence of acting PM Roble and threatens to derail the next phase of dialogue tentatively scheduled to begin on 20 May. Lastly, it threatens to unravel the political progress of recent weeks and to return Somalia to a state of dangerous instability and insecurity.”