Civilians flee Comoros bloodshed as govt forces reinforced
Comoros security forces intensified their crackdown against anti-government rebels on the island of Anjouan on Thursday, with witnesses reporting heavy gunfire and residents fleeing on the fourth day of clashes.
Moroni sent in reinforcements to quell the unrest that follows months of tension as President Azali Assoumani’s bids to extend term limits through planned constitutional changes that could see him rule for 11 more years.
Assoumani won a referendum in July allowing him to scrap the rotation of the presidency between Comoros’ three main islands after one term, disadvantaging opposition-leaning Anjouan which was next in line.
“The afternoon was calm, but it was the calm before the storm,” said an official at Anjouan’s airport.
He confirmed the arrival of a significant contingent of security forces on the island in “two rotations” charged with suppressing the nascent uprising.