- Comoros rebel leader Mohamed Bacar's close allies have fled to Island of Mayotte following a prison break in island of Anjouan on Saturday night.
Ten men including five ex ministers who arrived in Mayotte on Sunday contacted the closest police station seeking political asylum from French authorities, who instead, are reported to have launched a process to have men expelled.
Chief of Anjouan's security forces, Mohamed Daoud said the men's escape was an inside job, saying a soldier and a prison guard have since disappeared following late Saturday prison break in a small island.
He said the five escapees, who were being held on charges linked to Anjouan's rebellion against Comoros' federal government and corruption, had made it to nearby French-governed island of Mayotte, but did not reveal how he got information.
Mr Barar allies' prison break followed his expulsion on Saturday with his brother and two supporters, from the French island of Reunion to the west African state of Benin with a chattered plane by French government.
"I left Comoros because the African Union gave me a red card. I will stay in Benin as long as I am allowed," Mr Bacar said upon his arrival in Benin's main city, Cotonou, further emphasising that he is Africa thus his will go to all African states.
Officials in Benin said Mr Bacar would be subject to restrictions while in the country, which has become one of the most stable democracies in French-speaking Africa since the early 1990s and has hosted political exiles from several other countries.
"There is no clear position on his stay, but Benin's foreign service is working to decide his status in the coming days," Mr Eric Adja, personal assistant to Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi said.
Mr Bacar who is accused by Comorian authorities of threatening the authority and the integrity of the state and complicity in homicide and rape was forced out of power by African Union-backed military operation in March 2008.
Alongside 22 of his personal guards, the former leader fled to the neighbouring French Island of Mayotte where he sought refuge. He was later moved to Reunion on security grounds.
Mr Bacar's troubles with Comoran government began when he refused to relinquish power when his term expired in April last year. Instead, he organised a disputable elections, closed down Anjouan airport, expelled union soldiers and barred Comoros Federation President, Mohammed Abdallah Sambi, from entering the archipelago.
The rebel leader was sentenced in early June in Reunion to a three-month suspended jail term for importing weapons, but the court had also ruled against his extradition to the Comoros in June because of the risk of persecution.
The coup-prone Indian Ocean nation, Union of the Comoros, consists of islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, each governed by a local president and parliament, with the federal presidency rotating between them.
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