Past eventResearch Event

Comoros: External Involvement in a Small Island State

2 September 2009 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Chatham House, London


Simon Massey, Senior Lecturer and Researcher, African Studies Centre, Coventry University;
Bruce Baker, Professor of African Security and Director of African Studies Centre, Coventry University;
Discussant: Joseph Lake, Africa Editor/Economist, Economist Intelligence Unit
Discussant: Professor Malyn Newitt, Kings College London;
Chair: Alex Vines, Director of Regional and Security Studies, Chatham House



The post-colonial history of the Union of the Comoros islands, which comprises the three islands Ngazidja, Nzwani and Mwali, has been punctuated by coups d'états. The fourth island, Maoré (Mayotte), remains under French control. The African Union launched a successful naval and military intervention into the Comoros in March 2007, in order to oust the authoritarian president of Nzwani, Mohamed Bacar, after he refused to leave office. Little noticed internationally, this intervention was a highly significant development for the African Union, and contrasted with more controversial AU interventions into Somalia and Sudan.

Bruce Baker and Simon Massey, authors of the paper Comoros: External Involvement in a Small Island State, will discuss the findings of their research at this meeting, including the AU intervention, the impact of French involvement in the country and the Union's relations with the wider world.