News Alerts

12 Nov 2018 | 02:45 PM UTC

Comoros: French government lifts travel advisory for Anjouan /update 7

Comoros News Alert

The French government lifts travel advisory for the island of Anjouan

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/12/2018, 12:00 AM until 11/19/2018, 11:59 PM (Indian/Comoro). COUNTRY/REGION Comoros

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Event

On November 10, the French government lifted its travel advisory for Anjouan, in which it had advised the postponement of nonessential travel to the island following violence that occurred there October 15-22. Calm and security have been restored as of Monday, November 12, and normal travel to the area can resume. However, the French authorities continue to remind travelers to keep abreast of the situation and remain vigilant. Unconfirmed reports also indicate that the nightly curfew put in place on October 15 (running from 20:00 to 06:00) has been lifted.

Context

Clashes between the army and demonstrators denouncing the regime of President Azali Assoumani broke out on October 15. Gunfire was reported October 17-18 in and around the medina area of Mutsamudu; at least three people were killed. Electricity and water outages were also reported in various neighborhoods. The security situation slowly returned to normal on October 21, the day after security forces secured the city center and the medina area from rebel forces following an amnesty deal signed October 19. Rebel forces have since left the city.

The political situation on Anjouan has been volatile in recent months following the arrest of former President Abdallah Sambi (2005-2011) on corruption charges. Sambi is an Anjouan native and a political rival of President Assoumani. Protests centered around successful attempts by Assoumani to extend presidential term limits following a July 2018 referendum, largely boycotted by the opposition, and limit the powers of opposition parties. Assoumani is expected to call for new elections in 2019, paving the way for him to remain in power until 2029. Under the previous electoral system, power rotated between the three main islands; as such, a political figure from Anjouan would have been next in line to the presidency in 2021.

Advice

Individuals in Comoros are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid any protests.

 

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