France 24’s Franck Berruyer met with Colonel Bacar and his government during a council of ministers meeting. The Interior minister explained his plan to defend the island; he didn’t seem too worried or scared. Same is the case for another minister, Abdou Madi. Madi describes his president as someone “calm and serene.” Colonel Bacar tells our reporter, “I’m looking forward to welcoming those fighting against me….. to explain to them that one can’t win with a Kalashnikov, but with responsibility and wisdom.”
The battle begins
The first canon shots echo. The gendarmes are deployed strategically, but the offensive was launched in two different places. Although Bacar’s soldiers have been caught in the crossfire, the order is to resist. But the people in Anjouan avoid contact and withdraw towards the presidential palace where some pro-Bacar partisans are showing their support.
The Comoran troops surge ahead, gunfire reigning down in the area, and the column progresses towards one of the symbols of Bacar’s regime: the headquarters of the gendarmerie. They achieve their goal without much resistance. The headquarters, nicknamed ‘The Pentagon,' falls in the hands of the coalition.
An elated population
Bacar’s red flag is quickly taken down and the soldiers celebrate their victory. The population, which closely followed the battle, cheer for the new army, the Comoran Army, known as the AND. From this moment on, the new Comoran flag flutters at the presidential palace. This is a new victory for the coalition soldiers.
Ousted President Bacar has found refuge in the French isle of Mayotte.
FRANCE 24 reporter Franck Berruyer has been in the Comoros since the beginning of March. Read his impressions about the situation there in his reporter's notebook.