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Military May Intervene in Comoros

December 12, 1998

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ A military delegation of the Organization of African Unity was considering Friday whether to recommend military intervention in the Indian Ocean nation of the Comoros Islands.

Comoros interim President Tadjiddine Ben Said Massonde and Prime Minister Abbas Djousof repeatedly have appealed for OAU intervention to end violence that erupted a week ago on the island of Anjouan.

Reports have been sketchy, but some sources said fighting between rival groups on the separatist island had killed between 30 and 40 people by midweek.

Anjouan, one of the four Comoros Islands, located off Mozambique, declared independence Aug. 3, 1997. The Comoros government on Grand Comore sent troops to the breakaway island a month later.

The OAU delegation, comprising a dozen military and security officials from Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa, was expected to make a recommendation to the Ethiopia-based OAU, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Marco Boni. It wasn’t clear when that recommendation might come.

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