Comoros prosecutor accuses arrested opponents of planning a coup

2018-08-15 14:00
Comoros' President Azali Assoumani (File, AFP)

Comoros' President Azali Assoumani (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Authorities in the Comoros on Tuesday accused eight people, arrested last week following a controversial referendum boycotted by the opposition, of trying to organise a coup.

Prosecutor Mohamed Abdoua said the group had wanted to commit "a terrorist act" and plans to "target" specific people, including the interior minister, the finance minister and the head of the army were discovered during police searches.

The eight were arrested last week following the referendum vote which will allow President Azali Assoumani to run for another term as leader of the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Three people were released on Tuesday but five remain in detention, including the brother of the former vice president Djaffar Said Ahmed, who has recently fallen out of favour with the government.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

"It is not a question of an offence but a terrorist act... these things are real, the facts are there," Abdoua told AFP.

Police searches had seized "weapons, computers and a lot of money... and the plans," he said.

"The banners had already been made in case of victory, and you want to say that there wasn't a coup being prepared!," he exclaimed.

"The investigation will determine who's the sponsor," he added.

Crackdown on opposition

The leader of the opposition Juwa party, former president Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, has been under house arrest for almost four months.

The party's secretary-general Ahmed el-Barwane has been in detention since July 31 accused of assault, attempted murder and criminal conspiracy, according to Moudjahidi Abdoulbastoi, one of his lawyers.

Last week the Supreme Court confirmed the victory of the "yes" campaign in the referendum with 92.43% of the vote on a turnout of 62.71%.

The opposition had urged a boycott of the referendum, denouncing "abuses of power".

Ahead of the poll, Interior Minister Mohamed Daoudou said opposition members would be "hunted down".

The Comoros - a group of islands between Mozambique and Madagascar and one of the world's poorest countries - has endured repeated coups and political turmoil since independence from France in 1975.

Assoumani, a 59-year-old former colonel, was president between 1999 and 2002, coming to power after a military coup.

He won the country's first multi-party elections in 2002, stepping down in 2006 to hand over power democratically to Ahmed Abdallah Sambi.

He returned again as president in 2016 in an election marred by violence and allegations of voting irregularities.

Read more on:    comoros  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.