COMORO ISLANDS: A Man and His Dog

A soldier of fortune takes over the land of ilang-ilang

Until last spring, the Comoro Islands were known, if at all, chiefly as a source of ilang-ilang, an exotic flower whose extract is widely used in French perfumes. Now the Comoros are called the Mercenary Isles. Last spring the four tiny specks of volcanic ash off the coast of Mozambique were invaded by a motley troop of white soldiers of fortune, who took over the hapless islands lock, stock, and ilang-ilang.

The Comoros have proved an ideal laboratory for bizarre experiments in government....

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