President Albet Rene of the Seychelles says he has evidence that 200 mercenaries have been recruited from Europe for action in the Indian Ocean region.
GV EXT State House building, Dar es Salaam
SV INT President Albert Rene of the Seychelles seated, talking to newsmen
CU President Rene speaking in English
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: RENE: "There was a certain presence of mercenaries in Kenya, but we have never said -- and we want to repeat we don not know -- what involvement anyone in Kenya has with it. And what we do know is that there was a ship in Mombasa and that this ship was supposed to be taking mercenaries across to the Seychelles, and that there were some mercenaries that had entered the country. But whether the Kenya government was involved or not, we do not know at all. In fact, the evidence tends to show now that they were not involved, and I want to make this quite clear. I am not accusing the Kenyan government. There might have been individuals in Kenya who knew about it. I think they remain a threat and all of Africa, all countries who have decided to take the road of progress and development, must be very careful, and very ... vigilant. Now we are always ready for any mercenary invasion and we are prepared to deal with it. I think they may find that the Seychelles is not the Comoros if they tried to do it. But we don't feel any more threatened than in fact nay other progressive country."
Since coming to power in June last year after deposing President James Mancham, President Rene had formed a 100-man army, trained by Tanzanian instructors, and a 1,000-strong people's militia.
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Background: President Albet Rene of the Seychelles says he has evidence that 200 mercenaries have been recruited from Europe for action in the Indian Ocean region. Speaking to newsmen in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, the President added that less than 50 of them, commanded by veteran Bob Denard, had taken part in the Comoros Islands coup on the 2th of May this year. e also claimed that group of about 150 mercenaries had been "hanging around" for several months but that now they may have gone away. At the beginning of May this year 21 people were arrested in the Seychelles on suspicion of organising a counter-coup during President Rene's absence in China.
SYNOPSIS: President Rene made his remarks at the Dar es Salaam State House on Sunday (20 August), the last day of his one-week visit to Tanzania. He said his country was prepared to deal with any mercenary invasion and the Seychelles Army was being aided by socialist Tanzania. He warned all African countries to be equally vigilant.