- Survivors pulled from Oklahoma tornado debris as toll falls |
- Analysis: Some Republicans see new scandal in Sebelius fundraising
- Convicted U.S. killer Arias would join tiny death row group
- Drop in U.S. underground water levels has accelerated -USGS
- Israel fires back at Syria after gunshots at its troops
A huge tornado tears through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, killing dozens. Slideshow
FACTBOX: Personalities in Comoros crisis
(Reuters) - The Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros said on Tuesday it had begun an African Union-backed assault to retake the tiny rebel island of Anjouan.
Here are facts about the two main players -- national President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi and Anjouan's leader Mohamed Bacar.
* Aged 49, Sambi was born on June 5, 1958 in Mutsamudu, Anjouan, the son of a theologian from a large local mosque.
* After attending a local Koranic school, he lived abroad extensively, including three years studying Arabic in Saudi Arabia, a year learning theology in Sudan, then four years in Iran studying Islamic political theory. That stint earned the preacher the nickname "Ayatollah" back home.
* In 1986, he founded a religious school for girls but was ordered to shut it by authorities. The move led to riots and 21 days in prison for Sambi. In 1987, authorities confiscated his passport after he visited Comorian students in Egypt. He campaigned against Anjouan's failed declaration of independence in 1997.
* A former member of parliament, Sambi is a keen basketball player. He is a businessman with interests ranging from a television station to a mattress business and a perfume factory using locally grown ylang-ylang spices.
* He won the presidency in 2006 with 58 percent of the vote.
* Aged 45, Bacar was born on May 5, 1962, in the small Anjouanais village of Barakani.
* His education includes time at Brest naval college and Melun school of gendarmerie, both in France, and also in the United States. Before entering politics, he was a career policeman.
* He came to power in Anjouan in a coup in 2001 and has survived two counter-coups. Bacar says he is a champion of Anjouan's rights after decades of marginalization and commands a small and seemingly disciplined militia of several hundred men.
* Officials and residents on Anjouan describe him as comfortable with military-style decisions but more ponderous with political judgments. They say he is a smooth-talker but prone to go back on his word.
* Island residents complain of corruption among a small elite of Bacar's advisers, family and friends. They say he uses the threat of violence to maintain his rule over the small and densely populated island, which produces a significant share of the archipelago's main exports of cloves, vanilla and ylang-ylang.
(Reporting by Ed Harris; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this