The African Union has called on all sides in the Indian Ocean island nation of the Comoros to "show the greatest restraint," amid violence and a political crisis in the wake of disputed elections.
AU commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he was concerned about the deterioration of the political and security climate on the Indian Ocean archipelago, in a statement released late Friday, March 29th, as reported by Reuters.
The Comoros is in the grip of a political crisis following President Azali Assoumani's victory in Sunday's March 24th polls, that his opponents say was rigged and led rivals to unite against him.
Mahmat added he "deplores the violence that resulted in loss of life."
Violence broke out in the Indian Ocean nation after a defeated presidential candidate bidding to unseat the president was arrested.
Comoros, which means "Islands of the Moon" has had a volatile political history since independence from France in 1975, and has endured more than 20 attempted coups, four of which were successful.
Azali initially came to power in a coup, then ruled the country between 1999 and 2006, and was re-elected in 2016.
Both observers and community groups have questioned the credibility of the election, which saw Azali declared the winner with almost 61% of the vote.
The World Bank says the Comoros must tackle hunger and malnutrition, as almost 18% of its population live on less than $1.90 a day, the international poverty line, and it is at the tail end of the UN's Human Development Index, which compares life expectancy, education and living standards.