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Opposition Withdraws From Framework Agreement

Panafrican News Agency (Dakar), 14 March 2001

Moroni, Comoros - The Comorian opposition announced Tuesday that it was suspending its involvement in the follow-up committee of the 17 February framework agreement.

In a note to the framework's signatories, the opposition said that its decision was prompted by hitches allegedly created by the government, including delaying to appoint a co-ordinator.

The opposition rejected the structure of the committee as proposed by the representatives of the Mussamuda and Moroni governments.

It argued that the follow-up committee must include representatives from Moroni and Anjouan as well as opponents to the two governments.

"We reject any other interpretation that would deviate from the spirit and letter of the accord," the opposition said.

Reacting to the decision, the representative of the Anjouan authority, Commander Halidi, told a press conference on Tuesday evening that it was up to the international community to select the committee's co-ordinator.

Commander Halidi added that the absence of one out of the seven signatories should not prevent the continuation of the follow-up committee's proceedings.

He refuted allegations that representatives from Anjouan would oppose the designation of the OAU as co-ordinator of the follow-up committee.

During the same news conference, the OAU envoy, Franscisco Madeira, affirmed that the continental body was not insisting to be named co-ordinator, although it would continue "working for peace and unity in the Comoros".

The OAU and the International Organisation of the Francophonie sponsored the 17 February framework agreement.

Copyright 2001 Panafrican News Agency. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).