History of Comoros: Post-Independence

History of Comoros: Post-Independence Last updated on Monday 19th April 2010

The independence of the Comoros was proclaimed in July 1975 by Ahmed Abdallah, the archipelago’s main rice exporter and Prime Minister of the semi-autonomous local government. The declaration of the Comoros independence came before the French announced the result of the referendum. Abdallah was afraid that his Udzima (Unity) Party would lose out to the FNU in a future assembly to draft a new constitution. The MPM took advantage of the situation to declare that Mayotte would continue under French rule. Paris supported the secession so as to maintain its military presence in the Indian Ocean. This situation violates France's previous commitment to respect the territorial integrity of the Comoros and the result of the referendum. France did not oppose the islands’ membership in the United Nations (UN) UN, but vetoed specific Security Council resolutions to reincorporate Mayotte into the archipelago.

As soon as he became leader, Ahmed Abdallah was deposed by Ali Solih, the leader of an opposing political party. This occurred on 3 August 1975 and Ali Solih retained a more or less weak hold on the country until a coup led by Bob Dinard and white mercenaries restored Ahmed Abdallah to power on 13 May 1978.

The mercenaries helped consolidate the rule of Ahmed Abdallah, but their presence in the Comoros was disturbing to neighbouring countries. And in fact, the Comorian Foreign Minister was expelled from an OAU's Foreign Ministers' Conference in Khartoum in July 1978. Intense diplomatic efforts were set in motion and the OAU reinstated the Comoros' the its membership in February 1979.

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