Hundreds of African troops have gathered in the Comoros islands for a planned offensive against separatists on the island of Anjouan.

Reports from the Indian Ocean nation say Tanzanian and Sudanese troops arrived this week and will soon be joined by a contingent from Senegal.

Renegade leader Mohamad Bacar seized control of Anjouan island last year and declared himself the victor of an election that the Comoros central government said was illegal.

Bacar has offered to negotiate with the government and has turned down African Union requests to relinquish power or hold new elections. The AU and Comoros government are planning a military operation to re-take control of the island.

The joint operation is expected to involve about 1,600 African soldiers.

Comoros has a history of instability, suffering about 20 coups or coup attempts since winning independence from France in 1975.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.