Comoros launched an offensive, backed by around 400 AU troops, to regain control of the rebel island Anjouan. The Comoran army says it has located renegade leader Mohamed Bacar as fighting continues. (Report: F.Berruyer)
The Comoran army, supported by African Union troops, clashed with loyalist troops supporting the president of rebel island Anjouan, Mohamed Bacar, on Tuesday afternoon around the presidential residence.
Our special envoy Franck Berruyer describes a “very tense situation” north of the capital Mutsamudu: “Comoran forces, backed up by the African Union are in the middle of clearing out the last pockets of resistance by Bacar loyalists. I was on this road this morning and there are still many armed men waiting, their weapon in their hands, who say they are ready to die for their island.”
The Comoran Defense minister Mohamed Bacar Dossar announced that troops “were trying to reduce a pocket of resistance.”
“Troops are being deployed, they are making progress” he added.
The deployment of the army and troops mandated by the African Union, expected for more than a week, finally took place overnight Monday into Tuesday.
“For two hours, intense fighting took place near the airport with heavy machine gun fire coming from the sea, from African Union boats. There also were rockets fired in the streets and the hills above the city,” says Franck
The first shots were heard around 5am (GMT+3) on the island, in the town of
By the middle of Tuesday morning, the presidential palace, occupied since 2002 by Colonel Mohamed Bacar, was deserted. Berruyer, who went to the area near the residence, saw that the building was totally empty, the doors and big windows were open.
Overnight, boats left neighbouring island Mohéli with all their lights off and filled with troops and materiel, to anchor near Mutsumudu airport. The government of the Union of the
After months of unsuccessful mediation to try to organize new elections on the island, the Comoran government and the African Union have chosen the military option. The operation “Democracy in
Date created : 2008-03-25