COMORO ISLANDS: OAU Observers leave [19990602]

COMORO ISLANDS: OAU Observers leave [19990602]

COMORO ISLANDS: OAU observers leave

JOHANNESBURG, 31 May (IRIN) - The Organisation for African Unity (OAU) this weekend withdrew its military observers from the Comoro Islands because it did not want to work with the military government.

Diplomatic sources in the capital Moroni told IRIN on Monday that the withdrawal was part of the OAU's condemnation of the military coup on 30 April, which brought Colonel Azali Assoumani to power.

"The OAU has decided that it was not going to work with the military government," the source said. But he added that the civilian component of the OAU mission had remained to observe developments and attempt o continue dialogue with the military government.

Observers from Egypt, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia were sent to the Indian Ocean islands in December 1997 to help ease tensions after a declaration of independence by the island of Anjouan. The OAU had helped to mediate an agreement in the archipelago which offered each island some kind of broad autonomy under a national government.

The agreement which was signed on 23 April this year in Madagascar had outlined the establishment of an interim government that would rule until the next elections.

The Associated Press quoted the OAU representative, Mahmoud Kane as saying: "The agreement decided to put in place an interim government led by a prime minister. We were about to do that when the coup happened."


[IRIN-WA: Tel: +225 217366 Fax: +225 216335 e-mail: ]

Item: irin-english-936

[This item is delivered in the "irin-english" service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information or free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: or fax: +254 2 622129 or Web: . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.]

Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific