Comoros - Domestic policy

The bid for secession by Anjouan and Mohéli and the resulting constitutional crisis will remain the priority of the archipelago's new constitutional government. Azali made good his vow to remain in power until an agreement to keep the Comoros Republic intact was signed and implemented. However, it was unlikely that the forces pushing for secession would acquiesce to the government's entreaties to accept increased autonomy and political representation while remaining in a national union. The Azali regime was reportedly considering sending an African Union peace-keeping force to Anjouan to disarm the secessionists, and the Azali government was working to improve relations with the African Union. Meanwhile, the Azali government outlawed demonstrations and was actively seeking to restore security and discourage anti-Anjouannais and Mohélian hysteria on Grande Comore. In January 2003, the first of several French mercenaries who participated in the December 2001 coup attempt were extradited to France.

In addition to ensuring law and order and defusing nationalist sentiments in the Comoros, the immediate goal of the new Azali administration will be to win the support of civil servants by providing them with regular and timely paychecks. At the same time it seems clear that the military government will also try to marginalize the political opposition. The fact remains, however, that Comorans today continue to face falling living standards and a deteriorating economic situation that impoverishes the vast majority of the archipelago's citizens.

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