MORONI: The African Union called Wednesday for peace talks to urgently re-start in the coup-prone Comoros islands after clashes erupted between government forces and opponents of President Azali Assoumani, reports AFP.
Assoumani’s bid to extend term limits has fuelled anger in the Indian Ocean archipelago in recent months.Security forces patrolled in Mutsamudu, on the island of Anjouan, since Monday, with gunfire erupting as they dismantled barricades erected by anti-government activists.
The AU said it “deplores” the breakdown earlier this month of talks between rival parties, and said there was “an urgent need for confidence-building measures to facilitate the resolution of the crisis”.
Assoumani won a referendum in July on constitutional changes that includes ending the rotation of the presidency between the country’s three main islands after one term.
Assoumani, from Grand Comore island, launched a crackdown on rivals following the poll, which was boycotted by opposition parties and which he won with 92.74 percent support.
In Mutsamudu, security forces have struggled to regain control of the medina, a warren of narrow streets and alleys, witnesses told AFP.
One person was killed in clashes, residents and an official source said.