Maldives has a fairly good human rights record.
individual freedoms are restricted in areas such as speech
press, religion, the right of citizens to change their
government, and women's and workers' rights. Other
include arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detention, and
lack of an
independent judiciary. Despite Gayoom's commitment to
democratization, Western observers believe that these
will mar the country's human rights record for the
The Indian Ocean island countries face a challenging
Despite the end of the Cold War, the region will continue
maintain a degree of strategic importance for nations such
France, South Africa, and India. However, it is unlikely
of these nations will intervene militarily in any of
islands. With the possible exception of Comoros, which has
history of chronic instability, it also is unlikely that
the islands will experience significantly internal
problems inthe foreseeable future. As a result of
foreign military assistance, the security forces on each
islands undoubtedly will undergo some sort of
downsizing in the years ahead. Consequently, by the turn
century, the military capabilities of each of the Indian
islands will be far less than they are today.
* * *
Historically, various foreign and indigenous armed
have played a significant role in Indian Ocean life.
available military literature focuses mainly on
Useful historical works for this country include The
the Red Shawls: A Revolt in Madagascar, 1895-1899 by
D.K. Ellis and two works of Samuel Pasfield Oliver:
of Military Operations in Madagascar by Foreign Powers and
Campaigns, 1642-1881 and French Operations in
1883-1885. Two of the more important studies about
Madagascar's role in World War II are Into
The King's African Rifles in Madagascar, both by
Cecil Gander Dower.
Several essential works for the postindependence period
include Mike Hoare's The Seychelles Affair, Anthony
Mockler's The New Mercenaries: The History of the Hired
Soldier from the Congo to the Seychelles, and Philip
Allen's Security and Nationalism in the Indian Ocean:
from the Latin Quarter Islands.
For material about the strategic importance of the
Ocean, see The Politics of Intrusion: The Super Powers
Indian Ocean by Kim C. Beazley and Ian Clark. Other
interest include Monoranjan Bezboruah's U.S. Strategy
Indian Ocean: The International Response, V.K.
Super Power Rivalry in the Indian Ocean, and The
Ocean: Its Political, Economic, and Military
edited by Alvin J. Cottrell and R.M. Burrell.
Material about the military aspects of the Indian Ocean
its islands exists in a variety of periodical sources,
the Indian Ocean Newsletter, African Defence
Journal, Africa Research Bulletin, and
Confidential. Other useful publications are New
African, Africa Events, Africa News,
on Africa, and The Journal of Modern African
Two International Institute for Strategic Studies annuals,
Military Balance and Strategic Survey, are
for understanding the evolution of Indian Ocean security
The same is true of three annuals: Africa Contemporary
Record, Africa South of the Sahara, and
Armaments and Disarmament. The last is published by
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. (For
information and complete citations, see Bibliography).
Data as of August 1994