Comoros Issues Arrest Order for Politician Who Opposed President

(Bloomberg) -- Comoros issued an international warrant for the arrest of former Vice President Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassani, who opposed a July referendum that extended presidential term limits.

Djaffar, 52, faces charges of conspiring against the state, according to a Sept. 8 warrant distributed to reporters in the capital, Moroni, on Sunday. In a separate statement sent to foreign embassies and consulates on the Indian Ocean archipelago, the Foreign Ministry said all of Djaffar’s diplomatic passports have been canceled.

President Azali Assoumani, 59, in July won a referendum that extended presidential term limits and abolished a system of rotating power between Comoros’ three main islands. The opposition says the plebiscite was illegal, because Assoumani suspended the Constitutional Court before the vote was held, and has urged the African Union to intervene.

“We had written to the AU president urging him to send representatives to the Comoros as our country is slipping into a dictatorship,” the opposition Juwa Party, whose leader Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi has been under house arrest since May, said in an emailed statement Monday.

AU diplomat Ramtane Lamamra is scheduled to travel to Moroni on Tuesday to try and help resolve the country’s political crisis, it said.

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