Comoros: tensions persist, opposition calls for demonstrations

The opposition is calling on the population to hold a major demonstration this Friday, January 19.

Thursday was again marked by clashes between protesters and the police, particularly in the capital Moroni.

According to medical sources, a demonstrator was killed by bullets on Thursday and at least five others were also injured by bullets, including one seriously.

The police also made numerous arrests, no official figures have been communicated. 

Demonstrators throw stones during a mobilization in Moroni, January 18, 2024. AFP - OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT

By: RFI Follow


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With our special correspondent in Moroni, 

David Baché

The protest movement began Wednesday morning, following the announcement of the results of Sunday's presidential election.

Azali Assoumani was re-elected with 62.97% of the votes and a participation rate of 16.30%.

But the opposition denounces “

a gross fraud

”, pointing to the gap between the 190,000 voters for the gubernatorial elections and the 55,000 for the presidential election, while the two ballots were coupled.

Moroni has since been the scene of urban riots, which paralyze the capital.

And the protesters seem determined not to stop.

They throw stones at the police, set up barricades with tires, branches or vehicle wrecks.

And these young demonstrators assure that they are not about to stop.

Like Saïd - an assumed name - met in the Magoudjou district.

In the street this morning, we started throwing stones.

But the police arrived on the road to disperse the people.

We continue the fight, we stay on the road until the end so that President Azali leaves.


Public and private buildings were set on fire.

The road between Moroni and the airport is littered with barricades.

Youssouf wants to justify himself.

We barricaded the road, we confronted the police.

The president is not the one we want.

The state is there to protect us and catch thieves.

Our president stole the votes, the results 


Youssouf believes that this mobilization is the only way to make yourself heard, “

 because the president has taken all the powers of this country, even the justice system.

We're going to keep going until he comes out.


We barricaded the road, we confronted the police.

The president is not the one we want.

The state is there to protect us and catch thieves.

Our president stole the votes, the results


Report: new day of clashes in Moroni

David Bache

The opposition supports the protest movement

The five opposition candidates are now calling on the population to make this Friday “

a national day of protest and denunciation of the electoral charade

” of Azali Assoumani.

They ask the Comorians to “

support the burst of resistance initiated by the youth

” by organizing demonstrations, after the great prayer, “

in the towns and villages

” of the country.  

Those who are not far from the roads must

invest in them

», Ask the opponents, who implicitly seek the support of the army by emphasizing

the “spirit of balance

” of the general staff of the Comorian forces.

Until now, the five opposition candidates had never made such an appeal.

Even today, they present the events of the last few days as a spontaneous revolt that they did not initiate, in which they intend to join to obtain “

the pure and simple cancellation of the elections



Read alsoComoros: protests against the re-election of President Azali Assoumani continue

Asked by RFI, the government spokesperson reacted: “

the stated objective is to create unrest and support acts of violence.

» Houmed Msaidié, also campaign director of President Azali Assoumani, warns: “

the State cannot allow this.


Observers from the African Union, of which the Comorian head of state Azali Assoumani is currently the current president, who had judged the electoral process generally " 


 " and "


", admitted to having initiated an attempt at mediation, apparently without success.

The opponents also ask them to “ 


 ” their conclusions, which according to them denote “ 

guilty complicity in the series of irregularities and shenanigans orchestrated by those in power. 


This Friday, Comorians are expecting an eventful day.

On Thursday, the vast majority of businesses kept their doors closed, which is already causing difficulties for residents.

The situation is really very precarious, I have never experienced this situation because throughout, I traveled throughout Moroni, I did not see any open shops.

Everything is closed.


Report: faced with the situation, businesses remain closed

Abdallah Mzembaba


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