Last November, the governments of France and Comoros agreed to resolve a
months-long diplomatic spat over migration that had severely strained
their relationship. Azali Assoumani, the president of Comoros, sparked
the standoff last April when his government stopped accepting its
deported citizens from Mayotte, a nearby French overseas territory that
is also claimed by Comoros. This led France to retaliate by suspending
visas to all Comorian nationals. According to Simon Massey, a senior
lecturer in international relations at Coventry University, the dispute
provided Assoumani with an opportunity to galvanize the electorate and
build support for a referendum on constitutional revisions to extend
presidential term limits, among other controversial changes.