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Comoros Said Ready to Remove Embattled Anjouan President

Comoros Islands’ union government says it is prepared to forcibly remove from power embattled Anjouan President Mohammed Bacar and restore constitutional order. It describes President Bacar as a rebel. This comes after the union government yesterday rejected the African Union's (AU) extended sanctions against Anjouan. The union government contends that the African Union’s sanctions aimed at forcing Bacar out of power have failed to achieve their intended objective. The Africa Union reportedly extended for two months a travel ban on 145 Anjouan officials, including Bacar as well as other punitive measures such as the freezing of funds and other financial assets.

Union government’s Ambassador Ahmed Thabit tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Moroni that military action against Bacar is long overdue.

“What I know is that for the last 10 years the African Union has come out with resolutions, decisions and now sanctions and they have no effect at all on Mohamed Bacar. Mohamed Bacar has taken this Island hostage; people are suffering and people are fleeing to the other islands and life is terrible in Anjouan. So last time during the AU summit President Sambi did tell his brothers heads of state that he was determined to find a solution of his own to the crisis because up to now the Au has done nothing to solve this problem. His peers (President Sambi) have come up with a decision giving him the go ahead, so he is now preparing to go to Anjouan to finish with this rebellion,” Ambassador Thabit pointed out.

He said Anjouanais are tired of being held hostage by embattled President Bacar, who allegedly claimed he won a recent election described by the union government as highly flawed.

“I’m speaking as a Comorian in the Comoros as a wearer who knows where it pinches that not only is the time ripe, but that time is overdue. I think, as we really want to see to it that Anjouan reintegrate because Mohamed Bacar is behaving like full-fledged dictator. You know the people there are suffering and it is the people in Anjouan who are crying and putting pressure on Sambi to get rid of him (Bacar). And now all the people in the three islands, including even the Comoros Island of Mayotte, which is under France are pushing Sambi saying that enough is enough, let’s get rid of this rebel,” he said.

Ambassador Thabit said Bacar’s main objective is to enrich himself and what he described as Bacar’s cronies.

“First of all, you have to find out who Mohamed Bacar is. Mohamed Bacar seized power to enrich himself. He thinks that he has the power in Anjouan, you know that our big ports, deep sea port of the Comoros is in Anjouan, and a lot of cargoes come over there. And much of our income, we get it from Anjouan. So, his main objective is to enrich himself and his gangs,” Ambassador Thabit noted.

Meanwhile, the government's top military officer has reportedly said an attack was imminent, after the government acquired two Ukrainian helicopters to support the planned assault against Bacar. There are also reports of hundreds of union government troops gathered in Moheli, the island closest to Anjouan.