GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: The Somali government has said AU envoy John Mahama is not welcome to lead the mediation talks accusing him of links with Kenya in what could unravel another round of battles with the opposition which has welcomed Mahama’s appointment.
Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdirizak said in a note verbal dated May 10 to AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki that the former president of Ghana was not an impartial mediator noting that he had close ties with Kenyan leadership.
“It is indeed surprising that a candidate with an extensive link with Kenya’s leadership has been chosen by the AU to facilitate talks on a political impasse partly engineered by those the Kenyan leadership has supported,” the note read in part.
“I welcome the African Union to take a leading role in facilitating an election process in which every citizen elects their representatives through free and fair elections. All Somali stakeholders will actively participate in the dialogue on the future of our democracy,
The Federal Government, Abdirizak said, has withdrawn its support of the AU envoy. The Federal Government’s position now runs counter to that of the opposition which has promised to work with Mahama.
“The Council will fully cooperate with the envoy and his team and implore other stakeholders to do the same,” the Council of Presidential Candidates which brings together 15 presidential candidates said in a letter to Faki on May 8. The CPC however rejected the inclusion of AMISOM political affairs advisor Babatunde Taiwo whom it accused of ‘toxic influence in Somali politics.’
And it what could expose a sense of doublespeak at Villa Somalia, the FGS said it no longer needed AU’s intervention and was now intent on a ‘Somali-led process.’
“The Federal Government is of the view, given the present consensus on the elections, the window of opportunity for AU’s high representative to support Somalia to have an effect on the political impasse and support the establishment of a Somali-owned and Somali-led is no longer viable given the process has already started with the principles due to meet on the 20th of May,” the letter read in part.
“It is my concern, introducing an envoy into the process now will only confuse the present amicable arrangements and at worse risk, the politicization of the process further than necessary,” the Somali Foreign Minister stated.
During his visit to DRC last month, outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo said he was yielding to the AU’s intervention to resolve the ongoing electoral stalemate.
“I welcome the African Union to take a leading role in facilitating an election process in which every citizen elects their representatives through free and fair elections. All Somali stakeholders will actively participate in the dialogue on the future of our democracy,” Farmaajo said during a joint conference with DRC president Felix Tshisekedi.
The Federal Government and Federal Member State presidents are set to meet on May 20 following PM Roble’s request. However, contentious issues which could still drag the process remain unaddressed. This includes the presence of federal troops in Gedo region which has been a flashpoint between Farmaajo and Jubbaland president Ahmed Madobe. Both Jubbaland and Puntland have also insisted that Farmaajo hands over control and power over the security forces including the military to the PM as a precondition for the May 20 talks.