Former Comorian President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi is said to have started a hunger strike in protest of his mistreatment and detention by the government of President Azali Assoumani. Sambi (60) who was detained over four months ago allegations surfaced that he was caught up in passport-investment corruption scandal. Since his detention he has constantly declared his innocence accusing the government of politically motivated charges against him. His supporters have said that there are no any credible evidence presented that shows President Sambi to have been involved in the scandal. A parliamentary report released on the matter pointed fingers to a “mafia-like” criminals who took advantage of the system.
According to well places sources within the government Mr. Sambi has decided to pressurize the government to release him by staging a hunger strike. “So far he has refused to eat food, sustaining himself with water” according to a one person with the knowledge of the situation. Another source confirming the situation who also spoke on condition of anonymity fearing retribution informed that “he is getting weaker by the day”.
Both sources have also confirmed that the authorities in Moroni have refused to allow visitation rights for Mr. Sambi. “He is not allowed to meet with a doctor, lawyer or even his family; his health is deteriorating by the day” the second source said.
Many former friends and allies of the President especially those in the United Emirates and some of the East African countries have chosen to remain silent, something that troubles Sambi’s friends and family. “Everyone know that the charges are bogus and unfounded but they have decided to remain silent; and by their silence their condoning what President Azali and his government are doing to Sambi” said Abdou Mohammed a supporter of Sambi in Anjouan, one of the three main islands constitution the archipelago.
President Azali – a military man – first came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999. He later lost an election to Sambi in 2006 something that some people believe that haunt Azali to this day. After returning to power through democratic election in 2016 Azali has taken steps to curb democratic institutions including his suspension of the Constitutional Court. Another controversial issue that President Azali initiated was to call for a referendum that would effectively allow him to run to two more presidential terms unlike his predecessors. “Basically, the whole allegations, arrest and now detention of President Sambi is nothing but Azali settling the score against a man who had defeated him and who has led the voices opposition in the Comoro” said another supporter of President Sambi.
All attempts to reach the government spokesperson on the question of Sambi’s alleged hunger strike and news on his conditions have failed; no one wanted to speak on record on the matter. United Arab Emirates which has been implicated in the passport scandal has also chosen to remain silent. According to our sources if Sambi is not accorded proper treatment and intervention by concerned and influential individuals in the UAE and in Africa his condition could worsen before the end of the week.