Friday, January 27, 2023

EU withholds support to Comoros over political crisis

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The European Union has announced a decision to withhold assistance to Comoros due to ongoing political crisis.

Comoros has been in turmoil as President Assoumani continues to face resistance to his bid to extend his term limit.

The country’s Anjouan Island last month witnessed violent clashes between soldiers and protesters. That was due to recent decision to end the rotation of the presidency of the country.

The new policy could exclude Anjouan Island from national power.

Political rivals in the country last month signed a deal to end days of violence sparked by the protests against President Assoumani.

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The African Union has also asked politicians to put the interest of the country first and resolved the crisis.

Crisis remains unresolved

But the AU’s effort to restore order has broken down after the government failed to release key political prisoners still in detention.

The government’s decision to maintain the results of the referendum that extends President Assoumani’s tenure has also worsened the crisis.

The European Union says in a statement that “the services of the EU have decided to postpone the annual action program of cooperation between the EU and the Comoros Union for 2018.

The EU says the decision was taken “in light of strong uncertainties detected with regards to the preconditions that the government of Comoros agreed to…in terms of the reform of the judiciary and the presence of an independent body that would take over the control of the constitution and the development of a strategy to fight corruption.”

President to extend rule

President Assoumani won a controversial referendum this year to extend his stay in power despite a boycott by the opposition.

The referendum result which was ‘Yes’ ends a system of rotating power among the archipelago’s three main islands.

The constitution until the referendum provides for the presidency to rotate every five years among candidates from the country’s three main islands including Anjouan.

Azali Asoumani will contest next year’s early election without stepping down to end his current tenure in 2021.

President Asoumani is a former military officer who seized power in a coup in 1999. He was re-elected in 2016 after serving an elected term as president from 2002-2006.





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