Government troops in the Comoros killed or repelled white mercenaries who tried to seize control of part of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation Feb. 22. The apparent coup attempt was launched in the island of Moheli in the early hours by about 20 French-speaking soldiers wearing balaclavas who took over government buildings and cut telephone lines. The troops were reported to have distributed leaflets written in English, linking President Azaly Assoumani to Osama bin Laden.
There were unconfirmed reports that the invaders were led by Col Bob Denard, a notorious French mercenary. Since the Comoros voted for independence from France in 1975 there have been more than 20 coups or attempted coups. Col Denard has led four of the more successful attacks. He is a former car mechanic banned from leaving France since a Comoran coup attempt in 1995. (The Telegraph, Feb. 23)
See our last post on France in Africa.