Comoros. According to
Countryaah official website, the mandate for Tadjidine ben Said Massounde,
who was appointed interim president at the end of 1998, was
extended at the end of January pending the resolution of the
Anjouan outbreak island. A new government with the
reform-oriented Abbas Djoussouf as prime minister was
appointed. The African unity organization OAU continued its
mediation efforts between the federal government and the
separatists. An agreement on increased self-government for
Anjouan and Mohéli was concluded in Madagascar's capital
Antananarivo April 25. But Anjouan refused to sign the
agreement before the islanders were consulted. This led to
violent riots on the main island of Grand Comore, and up to
a thousand people with roots in Anjouan were forced to flee.
Five days later, the military took power in a bloodless
coup. In early May, dome leader Colonel Azali Assoumani
formed a new government with himself as president, prime
minister and defense minister. Moreover, the government was
dominated by civilians. Assoumani promised referendums in
the three islands on the Antananarivo agreement and free
elections to be held in the spring of 2000. However, many
argued that it would be difficult to achieve a more stable
political situation, especially as the divide was strong in
both the military and traditional political parties. and the
separatists at Anjouan.
In late autumn, Colonel Assoumani dissolved the council
that ruled after the coup, and in early December he formed a
new government with representatives of several political
parties. Bianrifi Tarmidi, a former separatist leader from
Anjouan, was appointed new Prime Minister.
On the breakaway island, Abderemane Said Abeid, a retired
officer from the French army, increasingly appeared as the
strong man of the separatists. His attempt to consolidate
his position through the election to a local parliament,
however, failed, as most Anjouan residents abstained. An
unsuccessful coup attempt was carried out in early
September. It was unclear who was behind this, but former
Prime Minister Abbas Djoussouf was arrested.
French mercenaries Bob Denard and Dominique Malacrino,
charged with the assassination of President Ahmed Abdallah,
were acquitted in May by a Paris court.