Comoros Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Comoros. According to Countryaah.com, Comoros Independence Day is July 6. Two regional government ministers and twelve soldiers were arrested in February on suspicion of trying to overthrow the federal government. The arrested were reported to have a strong connection with Ngazidja’s president, but he denied any involvement in the coup attempt.

Disputes over how political power would be distributed increased with the decentralization in 2002, when regional governments were set up in the three main islands. The conflict threatened the country’s fragile economy. For example, it was unclear which administration, the regional or federal, was entitled to collect taxes. This led to double taxation of traders, who went on strike in protest.

The conflict also meant that the country had to wait for foreign loans. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not want to design any economic program for the archipelago as long as the unclear political situation existed. With the support of the African Union (AU), negotiations were launched in June to try to resolve the conflict. Following the mediation of, among others, South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki, the parties concluded an agreement on the distribution of power at the end of December. They agreed that parliamentary elections should be held in April 2004. Under the agreement, a new customs authority would be created, regional governments given control over the police while the army would sort under the federal government. Before the election, which has been postponed since December 2002, observers from the AU would be stationed in the country.

Comoros Border Map