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Somali opposition rejects inclusion of AMISOM’s Taiwo in AU led mediation

MOGADISHU (SD) – African Union has been urged to exclude Amisom head of political affairs Taiwo Babatunde from the list of advisors working with the newly appointed AU envoy over upcoming mediation process between Somalia’s political stakeholders.

In a hard-hitting letter to Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairpersonof African Union Commission, Somali National Salvation Forum (NSF) termed Babatunde a ‘toxic influence’ in Somali politics, saying he served as a proxy for Villa Somalia’s influence.

“Mr. Taiwo is well known to the NSF as a toxic influence in Somali politics: he is a paid agent of the National Intelligence and Security Agency and is a notorious broker of confidential information,” NSF said in a hard-hitting letter.

The opposition which comprises of 15 presidential candidates, Jubbaland and Puntland states and the pro-union Somaliland caucus welcomed AU’s efforts to end political crisis in the horn of Africa nation.

“We commend the AU’s initiative in seeking to support constructive intra-Somali dialogue and again express our gratitude for the organization’s determination to restore peace, security and legitimate government to Somalia,” the letter said.

Late last week, African Union Commission had tasked former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama to lead the mediation process between Somali government and opposition groups.

AUC chairperson Faki welcomed the appointment of Mahama as his special envoy saying the newly appointed envoy will be supported by AMISOM, the AUC head.

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