The African Union (AU) has named former Ghanaian president, John Mahama as its High Representative to Somalia – to try and resolve the dire political crisis in the country.

In a statement today, the AU said Mahama will ensure there is “a mutually acceptable compromise towards an all-encompassing resolution for the holding of Somali elections in the shortest possible time.”

Tension in Somalia has heightened in recent weeks, following a resolution to extend the term of incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed by two years.

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On April 12, the Somali parliament voted to extend its mandate and that of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmajo, for two more years.

This has increased political tensions in the country, which were already simmering since Feb. 8 – when both parliamentary and presidential elections could not be held due to political disagreements between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and its constituent Federal Member States (FMS).

The political talks and negotiations between the FGS and the FMS that have been dragging on for the last two months in the capital Mogadishu have collapsed and the current government and parliament extended their mandate for two years, occasioning both a political and constitutional crisis with unforeseeable repercussions and consequences.

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Somalia is at a critical junction in its nation-building efforts amid increasing al-Shabab terrorist attacks and political elites fragmentation.

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AU names John Mahama as its High Rep. to Somalia amid Political tension