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Annan urges help for Comoros as it transitions

Annan urges donors to help Comoros as it transitions to democracy

As the Comoros undergoes the transition to democracy and enters a critical stage in its political development, the international community should generously support the archipelago, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message to donors meeting in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis.

“Over the past year, the people and authorities of the Comoros have taken encouraging steps to address a number of critical issues, including those related to national reconciliation and to institutional reforms,” Mr. Annan said, citing new legislation stipulating that the presidency will rotate among the islands of the Union, which is located between Mozambique and Madagascar.

“The presidential elections to be held in March and April 2006 have the potential to be a true milestone in the country’s transition from instability, provided they are conducted in an open, fair and democratic manner,” he said.

“This is a pivotal moment for the Comoros,” he said, pointing out that conflict, poverty and poor governance have taken their toll. “But that is now changing, we hope for good.”

While responsibility for sustaining this momentum lies first and foremost with the people and Government of the Comoros, Mr. Annan said the international community also has an important role to play.

“I call on donors to be generous, and I pledge the full support of the United Nations for the efforts of the Comoros to usher in a more peaceful, prosperous and hopeful era in its history,” he said in the message, which was delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tuliameni Kalomoh.

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