On the Comoros island of Anjouan, embattled President Mohamed Bacar has named a cabinet, an action that defies the African Union (AU), which has been charged with providing security on the island. In a communiqué following a recent meeting in South Africa that discussed the insecure situation on the island, the AU condemned recent polls and declared Bacar’s election “null and void.” The federal government of the Comoros also warned Bacar of possible military intervention if he fails to heed to the AU’s ultimatum to step down. But one of Bacar's newly appointed ministers reportedly said nothing would stop Anjouan's government from moving forward.
From Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma, Comoro Vice President Idi Nidhom tells VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey that President Bacar’s action is illegal.
“We are very calm. Whatever he does is illegal. Bacar’s election is recognized by lottery. The African Union condemns it. Finally the international community condemns it. So, we don’t see how far he can go. For sure, Bacar would not be there for long. The African Union has sent a military mission to the Comoros to submit an ultimatum to him to leave his office and to declare null and void his (Bacar’s) election,” Nidhom noted.
Nidhom said he expects Mohamed Bacar to be forced out if he fails to abide by the African Union’s ultimatum.
“We have no choice other than to send forces to remove him. He would be removed for sure. And we are quite confident that Mohamed Bacar won’t accept the African Union’s ultimatum,” he said.
Nidhom said he is almost certain Mohamed Bacar will stand his ground. He warned that military intervention in Anjouan is still on the negotiating table.
“It’s (military) still an option, not only from the Comorian government, but from the African Union as well,” he said.
Nidhom said the African Union would be holding a meeting to be chaired by the South African minister for foreign affairs to determine how to handle the situation in Anjouan.
“The next move is that the African Union mission at the ministerial level led by Dr. (Nkosazana Dlamini) Zuma, minister of foreign affairs of South Africa, would be arriving in Moroni on Sunday. They would meet the authorities and would send a very strong ultimatum to Bacar. If Bacar refuses to listen then they would know what to do next,” Nidhom said.
He described the relationship between the Comoros Islands and Tanzania as strong, tracing it back to several years of what he refers to as good co-operation.
“We have very strong relations with Tanzania, which is historical. Tanzania has sent troops in Comoros for the security of the elections in those islands. They have sent more than 200 well equipped, well armed, and it’s normal that we keep in touch and talk about various things,” he said.