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Comoros Prevents Anjouan President From Fleeing Country

In the Comoros Islands, opponents of the embattled president of Anjouan Sunday prevented him from fleeing the island after his presidential jet was blocked from taking off. Sources say Mohammed Bacar and his government were determined to get off the island after hearing word of an imminent demonstration against Bacar’s leadership, which his opponents claim has brought untold hardships to the people. Meanwhile, the Comoros government says the people of Anjouan have the right to know why their president was trying to flee the country, after Bacar forcefully installed himself president during the last election.

Foreign Affairs Minister for the union government of the Comoros Islands, Ahmed Gaffar tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital Moroni that Bacar has created an unstable situation on the Island of Anjouan.

“He (Bacar) feels now that the situation is bad there, and he tried to escape to run away. We heard this information from Anjouan today that he tried to escape, and we now will do everything to make his stay there in Anjouan because it’s not normal. Where does he want to go, and why? But we know the reason or the idea for him to escape is in Anjouan. The situation is very, very bad. The population is tired, and maybe he feels that the population is going to make a strike,” Gaffar pointed out.

He said the union government would continue to prevent Bacar from fleeing the country since the people of Anjouan have the right to know why their president was trying to flee the country unannounced.

“Our objective is to make this election in Anjouan. And now, why he wants to run away, we don’t allow this because we must stay with him and know what he did in Anjouan. The population in Anjouan has the right to know all about the situation there. What did he do in Anjouan all of these years there, because he made many, many problems there in Anjouan. So it’s not normal that today he tried to run away,” he said.

Gaffar reiterated that the union government wants a new, free and fair presidential election in Anjouan.

“We are waiting. If we are going to have an election, we will try to have another president. Or if he wants himself to become president, (then he must run just like everybody else). He must let the election be held there, and then we can see what we can change because now we have not a possibility to go to Anjouan. And we know that the population of Anjouan is suffering there,” Gaffar noted.

He said the union government would have little power over an African Union force that could possibly be employed to bring stability to Anjouan.

“The decision to send African Union forces is an African Union decision. They could decide if its really important, but we think it’s very important just to make this election firstly, and to establish a constitutional authority in Anjouan also. But it would be with the African Union forces of course,” he said.