AU appoints ex-Ghanaian leader as envoy to Somalia

AP News
Posted: Oct 10, 2010 7:10 AM
AU appoints ex-Ghanaian leader as envoy to Somalia

The African Union has appointed former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings as its representative to Somalia.

The AU says that Rawlings will help promote peace and reconciliation in the war-ravaged country, and also will try to focus more international attention on Somalia's problems.

Rawlings' appointment comes at a time when donor support for Somalia has decreased and as insurgents have stepped up attacks against the weak Somali government. The country hasn't had a functioning government in almost two decades.

Rawlings, a former coup leader in Ghana, went on to organize elections in the West African nation in the 1990s. He won two terms, then surprised the world in 2000 when his party lost and he voluntarily stepped down.