Potential Hot Spots: November 13, 2001


More on the on November 3rd coup attempt in the Comoros islands. Former chief of the armed force, General Francois had been relieved as chief of staff on October 26. The given cause of his relief was failure maintain security (part of the fallout of the failed coup detat in May 2001). Government sources said that an inspection of Bozizes offices turned up 48 AK-47 rifles and assorted other weapons. The government suspected Bozize of plotting another coup. However, supporters of Bozize (who belongs to the Gbaya ethnic group) resisted the arrest attempt. That kicked off five days of fighting inside the CAR. Western news sources say that 16 people died in the fighting (including seven members of President Ange-Felix Pakasses presidential guard), though the number of dead could be much larger. The biggest fighting apparently occurred on November 7 when CAR government forces (backed by a Libyan military force) reasserted control in central Bangui. On November 9 Bozize and 50 loyal soldiers reportedly fled to Chad. A CAR government spokesman accused Bozize and his troops of robbing gas stations on the way to the Chadian border. The group also allegedly robbed several government employees near the town of Sibut. The employees all worked for Chads Public Treasury Department.


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