Under the leadership of Bob Denard, 30 French and Belgian
mercenaries launched a coup d'état on November 26, 1989,
during which Ahmed Abdallah was assassinated.
the European mercenaries that formed part of the
presidential guard corps were presumably funded by South
Africa; at least some information indicated that the Comoros
served as a supply base for the Mozambican rebels from
RENAMO. For its part, France continued to have a contingent
of 102 technicians present on the island, of whom 30 were
engaged in setting up the Comorian army.
The French government suspended all financial aid to the
archipelago and began negotiations aimed at expelling the
European mercenaries, led by Bob Denard. As a consequence of
these initiatives, a group of mercenaries left the islands
in mid-December heading for South Africa. Before leaving,
Bob Denard handed over the responsibility of the army to a
contingent of French soldiers, while the Comorian president
stated that the French were allowed to stay on the islands
for the next one to two years.
The official restrictions on the political parties ceased
after the killing of Abdallah, after which several
opposition parties returned from their exile.
The IMF demanded a reduction in the number of public
companies, which started very slowly in 1989.
In August 1991, the Supreme Court of the Republic
declared President Said Mohammed Yohar dismissed, on charges
of gross irresponsibility.
At the same time, a federation of all political parties
from the island of Mwali with 25,000 inhabitants demanded a
more equitable distribution of public and economic posts.
Following the failed attempt to oust the president in
late 1991, President Yohar and the political parties signed
a national reconciliation agreement. In January, a new
government was formed, led by Mohamed Taki, president of the
Comoros Democratic National Union.
President Yohat resigned Taki in July 1992, after
accusing him of appointing a former French mercenary as a
A September coup attempt against Yohar, led by two of
former President Mohamed Abdallah's sons, failed. Several
opposition leaders were arrested on charges of complicity in
the coup attempt and at least 6 civilians were reported
Due to "irregularities", the first parliamentary
elections were extended to last November and December. The
opposition gained 25 seats in parliament and the ruling
party 17. In June 1993, Ahmed Ben Cheikh Attoumane was
appointed prime minister, but less than a year and a half
later he was forced to resign after widespread public
dissatisfaction with his rule.
Denard once again attempted to conduct a coup d'état in
September, but he and 1000 of his supporters were forced to
surrender by French troops who had arrived from Mayotte a
few days later and the president was immediately set free.
In October, while nearly 80-year-old Yohar was transferred
to the island of Reunión to receive medical treatment, Prime
Minister Caabi el Yachourtu Mohamed proclaimed himself new
president and refused to surrender power to the returned