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– BBC news

Former Ghanaian President John Mahama has withdrawn his acceptance as a special African Union (AU) envoy to mediate talks over the political crisis in Somalia.

In a statement  on Thursday, Mr Mahama noted the lack of support by the Somali federal government.

He said the proposed assignment required that he

“enjoy the unalloyed support and co-operation of all political stakeholders”.

The AU appointed Mr Mahama as its special representative to Somalia on 7 May, but the Horn of Africa country questioned his impartiality.

The country last week formally rejected Mr Mahama’s appointment, citing his “extensive links” with Kenya, saying it was important for such a person to be seen as impartial.

Relations between the two countries have been frayed in recent years, with Somalia accusing Kenya of meddling in its domestic political affairs – which Kenya denies.

A long-running maritime border dispute has also contributed to the stormy relations.

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