CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.

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January 2024

Africa

Comoros Islands

Post-election violence erupted as opposition contested President Assoumani’s re-election. 

Presidential election held 14 Jan despite boycott call by some opposition leaders accusing electoral commission of favouring ruling party. Electoral body 16 Jan declared incumbent President Azali Assoumani winner, giving him fourth five-year term. All five opposition candidates immediately cried foul, alleging ballot-stuffing and inconsistent results. Violent protests 17-18 Jan erupted in capital Moroni against Assoumani’s re-election; clashes between demonstrators and security forces left one person dead and at least 25 injured. Interior ministry 17 Jan imposed countrywide night-time curfew. Supreme Court 24 Jan confirmed Assoumani’s re-election.

April 2019

Africa

Comoros Islands

Opposition continued to reject President Assoumani’s win in March presidential elections and, alongside EU and African Union (AU), called for inclusive dialogue, but govt pursued repression of opposition and media. AU, regional bodies, EU and other international actors reported irregularities in polls, and opposition challenged results at Supreme Court, but latter confirmed results 2 April. Opposition body challenging Assoumani’s rule, National Transitional Council (NTC), welcomed EU and AU backing for inclusive dialogue, calling on international bodies to impose sanctions and nullify results. Govt continued repression; court 6 April said NTC chairperson Mohamed Soilihi, arrested in March, and eight others would be prosecuted for seeking to “destabilise state”. After govt released Soilihi 8 April, he withdrew accusations of election rigging and distanced himself from NTC. In protest at govt’s clampdown on media, private media outlets 2 April declared two-week boycott of govt press conferences and other events.

March 2019

Africa

Comoros Islands

President Assoumani’s win in disputed presidential elections sparked protests, his attempted ouster by opposition candidates and clash between dissident and loyal security forces raising risk of greater confrontation in April. Assoumani won re-election in disputed presidential poll 24 March with 60.77% of vote; nearest rival Ahamadi Mahamoudou secured 14.62%. Observers including from African Union 25 March said voting process was tainted by many irregularities and lacked credibility or transparency; Supreme Court in Feb had barred six opposition candidates from standing, including main contender. Police 25 March fired tear gas to disperse those demonstrating against result in capital Moroni, leading to some dozen injuries, and briefly detained two opposition candidates. Interior Minister 26 March accused opposition of causing unrest and ordered mayor of Moroni to prohibit public gatherings without prior permission; opposition 26 March announced plans for civil disobedience campaign to demand re-run of vote. Opposition candidates 28 March announced creation of National Transitional Council, led by former army chief of staff Mohamed Soilihi, to take over from Assoumani, “resolve the post-election crisis, [and] ensure a peaceful transition”. Authorities reportedly arrested Soilihi soon after announcement. Same day, group of soldiers, jailed for involvement in attempted coup in 2018, broke out of prison and went to military base near Moroni seeking support; subsequent exchange of fire there between these renegade soldiers and other security forces left three dead, reportedly including leader of dissident soldiers, Major Fayssoil Abdoussalam.

December 2018

Africa

Comoros Islands

Crackdown on opposition continued. Court 17 Dec sentenced secretary general of opposition Juwa party, Ahmed el-Barwane, to seven years in prison for ordering attack on soldier during July referendum and sentenced another Juwa party MP, Tocha Johar, to twenty years in prison. Court 15 Dec sentenced four senior opposition figures to life in prison with forced labour and handed down jail terms to several others for allegedly plotting against state.

November 2018

Africa

Comoros Islands

After clashes in Oct between security forces and protesters rejecting results of July referendum that extended presidential terms and stopped rotation of presidency between three main islands, parliament speaker 24 Nov called off vote on President Assoumani’s proposal that he pass laws by presidential decree for three months; 21 of 33 MPs opposed move.

October 2018

Africa

Comoros Islands

Following controversial July referendum that extended presidential terms and stopped rotation of presidency between three main islands, protesters clashed with security forces, temporarily seizing part of Mutsamudu city, capital of autonomous Anjouan island which had been due to take up presidency in 2021. In Mutsamudu, armed protesters barricaded roads and clashed with soldiers 15 Oct. Some 50 protesters took control of old quarter and held it for six days until military regained control 20 Oct; gunfights between protesters and security forces left at least three dead. Military imposed curfew and cut off water and electricity supply. Rebels have sought asylum in French-controlled Mayotte island. UN and African Union 18 Oct called on govt to resume Inter-Comorian dialogue which was started in Sept but suspended 2 Oct. Govt and opposition Juwa party 20 Oct signed deal including arms amnesty. Police 21 Oct arrested Anjouan governor, who opposed President Assoumani’s measures, and charged him with complicity in anti-govt insurrection and murder.

September 2018

Africa

Comoros Islands

Govt crackdown on opposition continued following July referendum in which large majority reportedly voted to extend presidential terms and stop rotation of presidency between three main islands. Prosecutors 7 Sept issued international arrest warrant against former VP Jaffar Hassani for plotting against state; Hassani, who opposed referendum, had already left for Tanzania 3 Sept. Military police 10 Sept reportedly arrested army’s deputy chief-of-staff, who also spoke out against reforms.

August 2018

Africa

Comoros Islands

Following July referendum, in which over 92% reportedly voted in favour of extended presidential terms and stopping rotation of presidency among three main islands, monitoring mission 1 Aug said it had observed voting irregularities. Opposition leaders 2 Aug called referendum “a farce”. President Assoumani 3 Aug announced elections would be held early 2019 and opposition said they would form united electoral front against him. Eight opposition members arrested early Aug and later accused of trying to organise coup. Former President Sambi, under house arrest since May, charged 20 Aug with embezzlement while in office (2006-2011). Assoumani 28 Aug appointed new govt.

July 2018

Africa

Comoros Islands

In constitutional referendum 30 July, 90% voted in favour of changes that would extend presidential terms and stop rotation of presidency among three main islands. Opposition boycotted vote and observers questioned its legitimacy. In lead-up, govt cracked down on dissent, and general strike held in Moroni on Grande Comore island. State media reported voting largely peaceful; two ballot boxes destroyed and policeman injured in Hankounou district of Moroni. Assailants 22 July attempted to assassinate Vice President Abdou.

June 2018

Africa

Comoros Islands

Police 22 June arrested leaders of three opposition parties during protest against constitutional referendum scheduled for 30 July. Govt’s proposed constitutional amendments, which would allow President Azali Assoumani to run for second consecutive term, has incited citizens to hold regular anti-govt protests since referendum was announced in late April. Opposition Juwa Party member Ahmed el-Barwane arrested on undisclosed charges 1 June and sentenced to six months in prison.

April 2013

Africa

Comoros Islands

Authorities 20-21 April foiled coup attempt, said President Dhoinine narrowly escaped assassination. Security forces arrested dozen suspects including son of former president Abderemane, Chadian/Congolese mercenaries.

January 2011

Africa

Comoros Islands

Constitutional Court 13 Jan confirmed ruling party candidate Ikililou Dhoinine winner of 26 Dec presidential election. Despite reports of irregularities and fraud UNSG Ban 18 Jan issued statement commending peaceful conduct, welcomed acceptance of results by all candidates.

December 2010

Africa

Comoros Islands

Electoral commission 29 Dec announced ruling party candidate Ikililou Dhoinine won 26 Dec presidential election with 61% of vote; main challenger Mohmed Said Fazul gained 33%. Opposition, international observers said poll marred by irregularities, fraud. Govt 30 Dec banned public rallies until 15 Jan.

November 2010

Africa

Comoros Islands

First round of governor, presidential elections took place 7 Nov; local and international observers praised peaceful conduct. 3 candidates to compete in run-off 26 Dec, including President Sambi’s candidate, VP Ikililou Dhoinine, leading with 27% of votes. Opposition accused authorities of buying votes.

October 2010

Africa

Comoros Islands

Elections for governors and presidency set to take place as scheduled with 7 Nov first round, 26 Dec run-off, despite rumours of possible delays. No overhaul of electoral registry as recommended by Election Monitoring Commit- tee, but revision of electoral laws launched 8 Oct. General Salimou Amiri, arrested early Sept for alleged involvement in June murder of army colonel Combo Ayouba, suspended from army duties.

September 2010

Africa

Comoros Islands

First round of presidential, governors elections scheduled for 7 Nov delayed 28 Sept for financial reasons. General Salimou Amiri, suspected of involvement in June murder of army colonel Combo Ayouba, arrested early Sept; Amiri’s lawyer claimed scheme to oust him from army.

June 2010

Africa

Comoros Islands

Despite ongoing tensions, political leaders 16 June agreed on interim govt and adopted timetable for presidential and gubernatorial elections; first round fixed for 7 Nov, second round for 26 Dec. President Sambi 21 June formed interim govt. Senior army officer Col Ayouba assassinated 13 June; Ayouba’s supporters demonstrated 14 June in Moroni, demanding perpetrators to be brought to justice.

May 2010

Africa

Comoros Islands

President Sambi remained in power despite end of mandate 26 May and Supreme Court 8 May rejection of constitutional reform extending mandate. Riots in Moheli 26 May when Sambi appointed new govt. Opposition called for elections before 27 Nov 2011 date decreed by Sambi; negotiations to resolve crisis stalled 26 May, but Sambi reportedly open to earlier polls.

April 2010

Africa

Comoros Islands

Protestors 9 Apr clashed with security forces in Moheli after parliament last month extended President Sambi’s term until Nov 2011. Opposition alleged recently arrived Libyan troops were mercenaries for Sambi; Sambi 13 Apr said they had come to “train” presidential guard; Govt-opposition talks unsuccessful; govt, opposition supporters have reportedly formed militias.

August 2008

Africa

Comoros Islands

Large rallies in Anjouan and Moroni reportedly called for President Sambi’s resignation over price hikes, non-payment of salaries, failure to deliver reform. UNDP representative 22 Aug warned of potential instability across country despite hopes following Aujouan’s peaceful June elections.

July 2008

Africa

Comoros Islands

President Sambi appointed new govt 11 July after peaceful June Anjouan election. Former rebel leader Bacar expelled 20 July from French Reunion, taken to Cotonou, Benin. 10 close Bacar allies escaped jail 19 July, fled to French Mayotte.

June 2008

Africa

Comoros Islands

Anjouan Island presidential elections to replace ousted rebel leader Bacar held 15 June. Interim results give Moussa Toybou win in 29 June run-off, with 52% over Mohamed Djanfaari 48%. Bacar, in French Reunion, given 3-month suspended sentence 6 June. France 24 June again rejected Comoros extradition request, citing risk of persecution; Benin reportedly offered asylum.

May 2008

Africa

Comoros Islands

Govt 20 May approved 5 presidential candidates for 15 June elections on former rebel-held Anjouan island. AU 2 May extended Anjouan Election and Security Mission (MAES) to 31 October. France rejected ex-rebel leader Bacar’s asylum plea but refused extradition to Comoros from French Reunion, angering Moroni. French Territories Minister pledged development funding and Comoran FM Djaffer “peaceful relations” at 15-16 May talks.

April 2008

Africa

Comoros Islands

Ousted Anjouan leader Bacar, 21 supporters released from jail 18 Apr on French island Reunion but kept under house arrest after renegade island retaken March. France still considering Bacar’s request for asylum, while Comoros demanding his extradition. Interim President Cheikh appointed interim govt 1 Apr, confirmed elections expected in 3 months. UN fact-finding mission said island’s humanitarian situation “severe”.

March 2008

Africa

Comoros Islands

Government troops, backed by AU forces, moved into rebel Anjouan island 25 March; restored control quickly and with little resistance. Anjouan appeal court president Abdou Cheikh sworn in as island’s interim president 31 March; elections in 2-3 months. Government said 3 rebels killed, 10 wounded; reported earlier deadly clashes mid-month. Self-proclaimed Anjouan leader Col. Mohammad Bacar fled to French island Mayotte; sought asylum. Government demanded extradition to face trial; 1,000 in anti-French protests in Moroni 26 March. Bacar still in French custody pending deportation decision. Comoros earlier accused Paris of supporting Anjouan separatist bid, after French helicopter crashed outside Anjouan capital Moulsamoudou 19 March.

February 2008

Africa

Comoros Islands

Federal government 18 Feb said ready to launch military invasion to restore control over renegade Anjouan island and oust disputed leader Col. Bacar. Government rejected extension of AU sanctions, said hope of peaceful solution extinguished. AU 25 Feb said military action only option after failure of AU-led mediation efforts. Hundreds of troops mobilised to nearby Moheli island late Feb. Tanzania, Libya, Senegal and Sudan pledged military and logistical aid.

November 2007

Africa

Comoros Islands

Col. Bacar, Anjouan island president, said prepared to re-run disputed June election that saw him re- elected despite Comoros, AU calls to delay election. Move came after AU began naval blockade of island 3 November.

October 2007

Africa

Comoros Islands

AU Peace and Security Committee voted 10 October to impose 45-day sanctions on leadership of Anjouan island, including travel ban, asset freeze. Standoff between Anjouan President Bacar and federal government continued over Bacar’s refusal to organise new elections.

September 2007

Africa

Comoros Islands

Standoff between central government and renegade Anjouan island continued, as former insisted island hold new elections. AU ministers meeting in Cape Town 18 September threatened sanctions on Anjouan government, but none yet announced.

August 2007

Africa

Comoros Islands

Tensions grew between Anjouan island and federal governments over disputed Anjouan presidential election of Mohamed Bacar. Hundreds reportedly fleeing political violence. AU assistance and security mission extended to 31 December. Federal government endorsed interim president Kaambi Houmadi’s “Liberation Government” against Bacar 9 August.

July 2007

Africa

Comoros Islands

AU-sanctioned talks in Pretoria between federal and Anjouan authorities failed to achieve agreement on new elections. Some AU ministers called for new elections on all islands, while head of Peace and Security Council reminded self-proclaimed Anjouan leader Mohamed Bacar AU retained authority to remove him if deemed obstacle to peaceful resolution. Central bank froze public accounts in Anjouan. Bacar invited federal government for talks; Moroni declined.

June 2007

Africa

Comoros Islands

Anjouan island government held elections 10 June in defiance of postponement ordered by federal government and African Union (AU). Order followed unrest after federal government installed new leader for Anjouan. Violence peaked 5 June when former coup leader Mohamed Bacar’s forces opened fire on crowd awaiting new leader’s plane. AU declared poll results “null and void” 19 June after Bacar claimed victory and named new government. AU ministerial delegation, indicating willingness to use force if necessary, flew to Moroni 25 June demanding new elections, disarmament and integration of Anjouan gendarmerie into national army.

December 2006

Africa

Comoros Islands

President Ahmed Sambi deployed 19 troops to Anjouan island, sealed off air and sea arrivals and called for international support 20 December after internal security talks between CI’s 3 islands fell apart over demands by Anjouan representatives for armed security forces.

December 2003

Africa

Comoros Islands

South Africa’s President Mbeki helped broker agreement 20 December between government and semi-autonomous islands to share power and revenue. Elections to be held around April 2004. Hundreds had protested 10 December against continuing government ban on opposition leader holding public meetings.

November 2003

Africa

Comoros Islands

Government troops fired on demonstrators protesting against government policies: at least 15 protesters wounded. Five arrested for alleged coup plot.

September 2003

Africa

Comoros Islands

Continued instability. French journalist arrested and two suspected French mercenaries held in custody in alleged coup plot. Leader of an opposition party arrested on 22 September.

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