Saturday, November 7, 2009

Comoros, History-Independence Era (contd-3)

Colonel Mohammed Bacar
Ahmed Abdallah Sambi

Said massounde
The Islands of Anjouan and Mohelideclared their Independence from the Comoros in 1997, in an attempt to restore French rule. But France rejected their request, leading to bloody confrontations between federal troops and rebels.Taki Abdulkarim led the country from 1996 to 1998 till his death, He was succeeded by Interim President Tadjidine Ben Said Masounde. In April 1999, Colonel Azali Assoumani, army chief of staff, seized power in a bloodless coup, overthrowing the interim President Massounde, citing weak leadership in the face of the crisis. This was the 18th Coup d'etat of Comoros since Independence in 1975.But Azali was the subject of criticism as a result the African Union , under the auspices of President Thabo Mbeki of south Africa , imposed sanction on Anjouan to help broker negotiations and reconciliation . The official name of the country was changed to the Union of the Comoros and a new system of political autonomy for each Island , plus a Union Govt, of the three Islands.
Azali step down in 2002 to run in the democratic election of the President of the Comoros, which he won. Azali to avoid criticism led the Comoros to a constitutional changes. The election of 2006 was won by Ahmed Abdallah Mohommed Sambi , a Sunni Muslim , studying Islam in Iran. Azali honoured the election results, thus allowing the first peaceful and democratic exchange of power for the archipelago.
Colonel mohammed Bacar, a french trained former gendarme, seized power as president of Anjouan in 2001. He staged a vote in 2007 to confirm his leadership which ws rejected as illegal by the Comoros federal Govt. and African Union. On March25, 2008,hundred of soldiers from the African Union and Comoros seized rebel-held Anjouan, generally welcomed by the population ; there have been reports of hundreds , if not thousands, of people were torture during bacar's regime. Some rebels were killed and injured, there were no official figures.Bacar fled in a speedboat to the French Indian Ocean territory of mayotte to seek asylum.