Accra, Jan. 29, GNA - The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Jean Ping, has received H.E. Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, former President of Ghana and newly appointed African Union High Representative for Somalia, in his office at AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Welcoming the High Representative, the Chairperson thanked him for accepting this very challenging assignment and stated that Mr. Rawlings will contribute immensely to the enhancement of the international communitys efforts aimed at restoring peace in Somalia.
These were contained in a press release from the Office of the Spokesperson to the AU Chairperson in Addis Ababa, and copied to the Ghana News Agency at the weekend.
It said the AU Chairperson further reiterated his confidence in the new High Representatives ability to succeed in discharging his duties, given Mr. Rawlings well-known commitment to African causes.
In response, the High Representative expressed his appreciation to the Chairperson for entrusting him with such an important mission, adding that he was proud to have been offered the opportunity to serve Africa.
On his part, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, briefed the High Representative and the Chairperson on the current situation in Somalia, the political and security situation on the ground and plans to deploy more peacekeepers to boost the efforts of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Also in attendance at the meeting were the Foreign Minister of Ghana, H.E. Mr.
Muhammad Mumuni, the Permanent Representative of Ghana to the AU, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey and the Special Representative of the Chairperson for Somalia, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra.
The rest were AMISOM Force Commander, General Nathan Mugisha, the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Bureau of the Chairperson, Mr. Pierre Moussavou and the Diplomatic Adviser to the Chairperson, Ambassador John Evonlah Aggrey.
Former President Rawlings was appointed on October 8, 2010, by Chairperson Ping to serve as the AU High Representative for Somalia, as a follow up to the decision on the Report of the AU Peace and Security Council adopted by the Assembly of the Union at its 15th Ordinary Session held in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010.
Mr. Rawlings served in the Ghanaian military for more than a decade, and presided over the affairs of Ghana in 1979 and from 1981 to 2001. He was twice elected President of the Republic, following multiparty presidential elections in 1992 and 1996.
Mr. Rawlings left office in 2001, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana that limits the number of terms for the office of the President to a maximum of two.