NEWSROOM (ADV) – Comoros authorities have cut off water and power supplies in the capital city of Anjouan province as part of efforts to quell unrest against constitutional changes to extend presidential term limits, residents said on Thursday.
Anjouan has been rattled by clashes pitting soldiers against protesters angry at President Azali Assoumani’s plans to end a rotating tenure in his post in a way critics say could leave the small island permanently excluded from power in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.
On Wednesday, government officials said soldiers shot dead two people and wounded four after violence broke out in the Anjouan capital Mutsumudu between masked men and the military.
Officials at the Interior Ministry could not be reached for comment on the reported power and water outages.
Interior Minister Mohamed Daoud blamed what he called “insurgents” for the violence: “We do not wish for this to happen and we will do all we can to stop further damage.”
In August, Assoumani – who is from the largest island, Grande Comore – said a June referendum had approved the extension of presidential term limits and an end to the rotating presidency. The opposition called the referendum illegal.
Assoumani, a former military officer, joins a string of African leaders who have extended presidential term limits or amended the constitution in order to stay in office.
He has been in power since 2016 and would have had to step down in 2021 under the old term limits.
© Bur-csa – S.E / A.H – African Daily Voice (ADV)