Comoros opposition politicians jailed for life

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 The opposition politicians faced a two-day trialbefore the final verdict was delivered. Those jailed were accused of plottingagainst the state.

 

Key opposition figures in Comoros have been handed down life sentences with hard labour. They were sentenced on Saturday by a security court.

The opposition politicians faced a two-day trial before the final verdict was delivered. Those jailed were accused of plotting against thestate.

The opposition in Comoros has described the verdict and sentencing as “an insult to democracy”.

Notable among those jailed Colonel Ibrahim Salim, a former head of the army. The former vice-president Djaffar Said Ahmed Hassane was alsogiven a forced labour punishment.

Comoros political crisis

The political crisis in Comoros has forced the European Union to withhold assistance to the country.

Comoros has been in turmoil as President Assoumani continues to face resistance to his bid to extend his term limit.

The country’s Anjouan Island witnessed violent clashes between soldiers and protesters in October. That was due to recent decision to end the rotation of the presidency of the country.

The new policy could exclude Anjouan Island from national power.

Political rivals in the country two months ago signed a deal to end violence sparked by the protests against President Assoumani.

Crisis remains unresolved

 The African Union’s effort to restore order failed after the government failed to release key political prisoners still in detention.

The government’s decision to maintain the results of the referendum that extends President Assoumani’s tenure has also worsened the crisis.

 President Assoumani won a controversial referendum this yearto extend his stay in power despite a boycott by the opposition.

The referendum result which was ‘Yes’ ends a system of rotating power among the archipelago’s three main islands.

 The constitution until the referendum provides for the presidency to rotate every five years among candidates from the country’s three main islands including Anjouan.

Azali Asoumani will contest next year’s early election without stepping down to end his current tenure in 2021.

President Asoumani is a former military officer who seized power in a coup in 1999. He was re-elected in 2016 after serving an elected term as president from 2002-2006.

Source: Africafeeds.com

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