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Annan welcomes reconciliation agreement in the Comoros

Annan welcomes reconciliation agreement in the Comoros

Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the signing of an agreement between the president of the Comoros Union and three autonomous islands in the Indian Ocean nation, which has been plagued by secessionist disputes recently.

The agreement, signed on Saturday in the Comorian capital of Moroni, outlines transitional arrangements between the Comoros Union and the islands of Anjouan, Mwali and Ngazidja. South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who has coordinated the regional effort to promote peace in the archipelago, attended the signing ceremony.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan called on the parties to respect and implement the agreement, which he described as a crucial step in the national reconciliation process.

The Comoros, which gained independence from France in 1975, has been troubled by secessionist moves during its history. In 1997 the island of Anjouan declared its independence, beginning the latest round of internal problems. A reconciliation agreement was signed in 2001.