Friday, April 30, 1999 Published at 21:42 GMT 22:42 UK
UN condemns Comoros coup
The Comoros have endured a succession of military coups
The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has condemned the military coup in the Comoro Islands.
He called on all leaders to avoid violence and to work for an early return to peace and constitutional order.
Earlier on Friday, the army officer who led the bloodless coup said he would stay in power for a year.
Colonel Azali Assoumani, the army chief of staff, also pledged to stick with a deal which gives greater autonomy to two smaller islands in the Indian Ocean republic.
The army took power in the archipelago after an unsuccessful attempt to reintegrate the breakaway island of Anjouan led to violent demonstrations.
Paris said it would review civilian and military aid to the Indian Ocean island group.
A South African foreign affairs spokesman said: "We condemn the action, which is regrettable ... after much progress was made by all parties at a conference in Madagascar last week."
Troops were reported to be on the streets of the capital, Moroni, on Friday morning, but the city was said to be calm.
"The national development army has decided to intervene, in light of the observed immobility of the authorities, to prevent the country sliding into chaos and anarchy.
"The constitution and institutions are dissolved as of this moment."
An army spokesman announced that all public gatherings were banned and that government officials had been ordered to stay in their homes.
Telephone communications were reported to be have been cut.
The army spokesman said there would be heavy punishment for anyone harassing people of Anjouanese origin.
The Comoran army includes a large number of Anjouanese soldiers, who are said to have put pressure on the military commanders to protect their families.
Anjouan talks fail
The military takeover is the 18th coup or attempted coup since the Comoros gained independence from France in 1975.
Anjouan unilaterally declared its independence from the Comoros in 1997.
During the talks in Madagascar last week, President Tadjidine Ben Saod Massonde signed an autonomy agreement, but the delegates from Anjouan refused, saying they must first consult their people.
This sparked demonstrations, during which the 70,000-strong Anjouanese community on the main island of Grand Comore suffered attacks and intimidation.
Hundreds of Anjouanese people fled Grand Comore to return to Anjouan.
Under the Madagascar agreement: