The African Union Commission (AU) has announced the appointment of former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, as the body’s High Representative for the Horn of Africa.
Chairperson of the commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who made the announcement, said the appointment was part of the AU’s drive to promote peace, security, stability and political dialogue all over the Horn of Africa.
The Horn of Africa consists of the internationally-recognised countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and is one of the more crisis-ridden regions in Africa.
Somalia and Ethiopia are both involved in internal conflict that has displaced over four million people.
Obasanjo’s job is to intensify engagements with all relevant political actors and stakeholders in the region towards entrenching durable peace and stability.
The AU chairperson thanked the former president for accepting the strategic political assignment in the collective interest of the union.
‘The former Nigerian leader brings with him very rich political experience, and impeccable credentials of keen commitment to the lofty ideals of pan-Africanism and regional integration and cooperation, as well as a deep knowledge of the current situation in the Horn of Africa’, the chairperson said in a statement.
Obasanjo served as Nigeria’s head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as the country’s president from 1999 to 2007.
He was also head of the AU from 2004 to 2006.
The chairperson of the commission called on all stakeholders and the international community to extend every possible support to Obasanjo.
Photo source: Henrik Berger Jørgensen