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Union of the Comoros

Union des Comores  (French)
Udzima wa Komori (Comorian)
الاتحاد القمري (Arabic)
al-Ittiḥād al-Qumurī/Qamarī
Motto: Unité – Solidarité – Développement  (French)
"Unity – Solidarity – Development"
Anthem: Udzima wa ya Masiwa  (Comorian)
"The Unity of the Great Islands"
Location of Comoros
and largest city
11°41′S 43°16′E / 11.683°S 43.267°E / -11.683; 43.267
Official languagesComorian
GovernmentFederal republic
• President
Azali Assoumani[2]
1. Fouad Mohadji
2. Mohamed Ali Soilih
3. Nourdine Bourhane
LegislatureAssembly of the Union
• from France
6 July 1975
• Total
2,235 km2 (863 sq mi) (178th (incl. Mayotte))
• Water (%)
• 2010 estimate
798,000a (163rd)
• Density
275/km2 (712.2/sq mi) (25th)
GDP (PPP)2012 estimate
• Total
$869 million[3] (179th)
• Per capita
$1,252[3] (165th)
GDP (nominal)2012 estimate
• Total
$595 million[3] (177th)
• Per capita
$858[3] (155th)
HDI (2011)Increase 0.433
low · 163rd
CurrencyComorian franc (KMF)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (not observed)
Driving sideright
Calling code+269
ISO 3166 codeKM
a. Excluding Mayotte

Comoros (officially called Union of the Comoros) is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean. It is between Madagascar and mainland Africa. The capital is Moroni on Grande Comore. The population (except for Mayotte) is about 798,000 people.

The Comoros Islands are in the Indian Ocean, between Mozambique and Madagascar. It is the southernmost member state of the Arab League.

There are 4 islands from west to east: Grande Cormore, Moheli, Anjouan and Mayotte. All the islands are of volcanic origin.

Mayotte is French overseas territory. The other islands form the independent state of Comoros.

The country has a history with many coup d'état since independence in 1975. As of 2008, about half the people live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.[4]

Mount Karthala is the country's highest point. Karthala is an active shield volcano on Grand Cormore. It had a minor eruption in May 2006.

Geography[change | change source]

The Comoros is formed by Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Mohéli) and Nzwani (Anjouan), the three major islands in the Comoros Archipelago. There are also many minor islets. The islands are officially known by their Comorian language names. International sources still use their French names (given in parentheses above). The capital and largest city is Moroni on Ngazidja.

At 2,034 km2 (785 sq mi), it is one of the smallest countries in the world. The interiors of the islands vary from steep mountains to low hills.

Climate[change | change source]

The climate is generally tropical and mild. The rainy season runs from December to April. It is called kashkazi/kaskazi, meaning north monsoon. The cool, dry season is from May to November. It is called kusi, meaning south monsoon.

The temperature reaches an average of 29–30 °C (84–86 °F) in March, the hottest month. The average low is 19 °C (66 °F) in the dry season. The islands are rarely subject to cyclones.

The islands have their own ecoregion, the Comoros forests.

Government[change | change source]

The President of the Comoros is both head of state and head of government. The constitution was adopted on 23 December 2001. It was last amended in May 2009.

In November 1975, the Comoros became the 143rd member of the United Nations. The citizens of Mayotte chose to become French citizens and keep their island as a French territory.

There is a small standing army. This includes a 500-member police force and a 500-member defense force. A treaty with France provides navy protection for territorial waters.

Cities[change | change source]

Moroni Harbour


Grande Comore


Economy[change | change source]

The Comoros is one of the world's poorest countries. Agriculture is the leading sector of the economy. Agriculture includes fishing, hunting, and forestry.

The Comoros is the world's largest producer of ylang-ylang. It is a large producer of vanilla.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Comoros". 5 May 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  2. "Assoumani officially declared president-elect of Comoros". Africa News. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Comoros". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  4. Human Development Indices, Table 3: Human and income poverty, p. 35. Retrieved on 1 June 2009

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Media related to Comoros at Wikimedia Commons
  • Comoros travel guide from Wikivoyage