- The government of the Comoros Union celebrates that "institutional normality" and stability has finally returned to the archipelago. This was best illustrated by the normalisation of foreign relations and the return of foreign embassies to Moroni, according to the Comoran Presidency.
In an official statement issued by the Presidency of the Union of Comoros, reprinted by the Comoran weekly 'Al-Watwan', the government holds that the era of instability and coups has finally ended. Comoran President Assoumani Azali himself came to power in a military coup in 1999, but later was elected in a disputed poll.
The statement recognises that Comoros was "not cherished by destiny" after independence in 1975, holding the African record of military coups and coup attempts. The name of Bob Denard, a French mercenary organising several coups attempts in Comoros, "sadly has always stuck to our country," the Presidency said.
This history of coups was further amended by separatist movements on the islands of Anjouan and Moheli - the second and third largest islands in the archipelago - which almost succeeded in splitting the nation. Until a final peace agreement ended up in legislative elections earlier this year, President Azali's authoritarian government has been challenged by local authorities of the three autonomous islands.
- This era fortunately has ended, according to the Comoran Presidency. "Comoros today experiences a certain degree of political stability, the return of the rule of law and respect of the principles of good governance," the statement holds. The legislative elections in April this year further had secured the return of democracy, according to the government. Only six out of parliament's 33 seats went to President Azali's party at those elections.
After achieving this stability, the Comoran government had emphasised on repaying its foreign debt, something that had "largely contributed to the thaw of relations between Moroni and international financial institutions," the statement said. In particular relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank had been normalised.
Also payment arrears to other international organisations had now been settled, leading to the Comoros' return to these forums. "The foreign missions that are coming to Moroni, just as Comoran participation in various international meetings, testify to this return in strength of the Comoros on the world scene," the government holds.
Comoran Foreign Minister Souef Mohamed El-Amine, of President Azali's Convention for the Renewal of Comoros (CRC), thus had been empowered to represent the country abroad. By now, Mr El-Amine had already managed to improve the image and respect of Comoros abroad, emphasising that "institutional normality" had returned to the archipelago.
Comoros remains among the poorest nations of the region, in stark contrast to neighbouring Indian Ocean small islands states such as Seychelles and Mauritius or the nearby French colonies of Mayotte and Réunion. The archipelago's potential for tourism - the main income on neighbouring islands - is believed to be enormous but depends on political stability, foreign investments and improved infrastructure.
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