A court in the capital Moroni released opposition leader Mohamed Soilihi on Monday, April 8, after he was arrested for challenging the outcome of the recent presidential elections on March 28. According to media reports, Soilihi immediately published a press release stating that he would no longer challenge the election results. It is unclear other opposition leaders will also retract their claims of electoral fraud. Protests denouncing the reelection of President Azali Assoumani and the arrest of opposition leaders are possible in the coming days.
Security forces arrested Soilihi and eight other people on March 28 after opposition leaders announced the formation of the so-called National Transition Council to "resolve the post-electoral crisis" and to ensure a peaceful and stable transition. Soilihi was named the chairman of the council, who called for acts of civil disobedience if the election was not invalidated by April 3. Gunfire was reported during his arrest in Moroni, causing a panic in the city.
Comoros held its presidential elections on March 24. Opposition parties have since denounced voting irregularities and related violent protests erupted in Anjouan and Moroni on March 24-25, resulting in at least one death. Comoros' National Voting Commission (CENI) announced on March 26 that incumbent President Azali Assoumani secured a second term.
Individuals in Comoros are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate heightened security measures and transportation disruptions near any political gatherings, and avoid all demonstrations as a precaution.
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