Country Listing

Maldives Table of Contents


The Military and the Government

Until independence, Comoros had no armed forces. Since then, the government has maintained a small military establishment, which, by international standards, possesses minimal capabilities. However, despite the lack of a strong military tradition, the armed forces has played a significant role in the country's political life. In particular, the GP, which is the best trained and best armed of all security services, has repeatedly intervened in politics and eventually controlled Comoros. Such activities understandably have attracted considerable attention, especially because the GP includes European mercenaries in its ranks and in senior positions. Over the years, there have been numerous reports, some of which remain unconfirmed, that foreign powers such as France, Britain, or South Africa provided these mercenaries with money and weapons. By the early 1990s, most Western observers believed that as long as French military forces remained in the islands, the Comorian armed forces were unlikely to maintain a high political profile.

Little information exists about Comorian defense economics. In 1987, the most recent year for which figures were available, the government budgeted about 910 Comoros francs (for value of the Comoros franc--see Glossary) for defense expenditures.

Data as of August 1994