Comoros celebrates its 45th Independence Day anniversary on Monday, July 6, amid heightened political tensions in the country. President Azali Assoumani has organised a ceremony on the island of Anjouan, where additional security forces will be deployed. Opposition parties have reportedly called for a counter-ceremony on Grande Comore, which authorities are encouraging people not to attend.
There remains a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people in Comoros due the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19); however, president Azali has allegedly invited 250 people to the celebrations on Anjouan. Also, from 25 April, a daily curfew has been in place from 20:00 to 05:00 (local time).
A heightened security presence is to be expected in Comoros, and protests and other large gatherings should be expected.
President Azali was re-elected as president in April, amid calls of voting irregularities and controversy surrounding the results.
A constitutional referendum was held in the Comoros in July 2018, which was approved. The referendum allows for two five-year presidential terms rather than a single five-year term. It also removed the former system in place where the position rotates every five years between the archipelago's islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli. The amendment eliminated the three vice presidential positions as well as the Constitutional Court. Islam was also made the official state religion.
Individuals in Comoros are advised to keep abreast of the sociopolitical climate and avoid all protests and political rallies.
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