The tropical Comoro Islands, off the coast of Tanzania, unilaterally declared independence from France on Sunday (July 6).
CU Senator speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: SENATOR: "The decisions taken yesterday by my colleagues from the Comoro Islands exists to prove that they have been faithful to their promises to the people. What they did was to carry those promises out. Hitherto, there have been talks, but the people of the Comoros could see that these were moving slowly. But it's above all an elastic situation, and that's what made my colleagues take their decision. We were told (by the French) to approve a constitution, which would have to be sanctioned by a referendum, and if the constitution was not positively approved in the firs round of voting, it would have to be done again. And if the result then was no positive -- which means unanimous for every island in the archipelago -- then each island would have to make its own decision, choose its own road."
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Background: The tropical Comoro Islands, off the coast of Tanzania, unilaterally declared independence from France on Sunday (July 6). France immediately imposed a state of emergency, but lifted it after only a few hours.
The move by the islanders pre-empted ratification by France of a referendum last December, in which three of the four spices islands voted for independence. But on the island of Mayotte, 60 per cent of the 37,000 inhabitants voted in favour of remaining attached to France.
Immediately following Sunday's declaration, Mayotte leaders cabled French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing asking him to keep their island French.
An insight into the situation too the Comoros came from one of the islands' senators to France. El Amdjade Said Mohamed Jaffar, who spoke on Monday about the declaration of independence.