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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Unrest in Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros after the president is said election winner

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MORONI, Comoros — Individuals barricaded streets and burned tires for a second day Thursday within the Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros after the incumbent president was declared winner following an election over the weekend that was denounced by the nation’s opposition events as fraudulent.

Some protesters tore down a poster of President Azali Assoumani, who on Tuesday was declared the winner of the presidential balloting, with greater than 60% of the votes in his favor.

The declaration triggered violent protests on Wednesday, when a authorities minister’s home was set on hearth and a automotive on the house of one other minister was burned. Individuals additionally vandalized a nationwide food depot. A number of roads in and across the capital, Moroni, had been barricaded by protesters.

The federal government ordered a curfew on Wednesday night time, till 6 a.m. Thursday.

United Nations human rights chief, Volker Türk, appealed for calm and urged authorities to permit folks to protest peacefully. His workplace stated it acquired experiences of safety forces firing tear gasoline at peaceable protesters, together with on a march by a bunch of ladies. Türk additionally stated he was involved with repression in Comoros in recent times.

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Opposition events have claimed Sunday’s vote was fraudulent and say the nationwide electoral fee is biased towards Assoumani, a former navy officer who first got here to energy in a 1999 coup. The opposition has known as for the election outcomes to be canceled.

Comoros has a inhabitants of round 800,000 unfold over three islands and has had a collection of coups since independence from France in 1975.

Assoumani, 65, was reelected for a fourth time period with 62.97% of the vote after altering the structure in 2018 to permit him to sidestep time period limits. He has been accused of cracking down on dissent and beforehand banned protests. He presently chairs the African Union, the place his one-year largely ceremonial time period is to finish subsequent month.

The federal government stated various protesters had been arrested, with out providing specifics, and accused the opposition of discovering “it troublesome to just accept defeat” and inciting the unrest.

“We all know the instigators,” authorities spokesperson Houmed Msaidie stated. “A few of them are within the fingers of regulation enforcement. We’ll proceed to search for them as a result of there isn’t a query of the state giving solution to violence.”

A coalition of opposition events denied the accusations, saying the unrest reveals individuals are “fed up” with the federal government.

When Assoumani modified the structure in 2018, the transfer triggered mass demonstrations throughout the nation and an armed rebellion on one of many islands that was quelled by the military.

After taking energy in a coup, Assoumani was first elected president in 2002. He stepped down in 2006 however returned to win a second time period in 2016.


AP Africa information: https://apnews.com/hub/africa

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