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Map of Africa showing location of Comoros

The Comoros archipelago African islands are situated in the western Indian Ocean.

The Comoros nation became Islamic in the early 16th century. The Arabs first used these islands as a trading outpost with the continent of Africa and Madagascar Island. The name Comoros is derived from the Arab word kamar meaning the moon. In 1841, the islands were absorbed into the French overseas empires. After the Second World War, the islands were given representation in the French National Parliament.

On 6th July 1975, the islands government unilaterally declared independence ahead of the 1973 agreement between the islands self-government authorities and France that the islands shall gain independence in 1978. However, other islands like Mwali and Nzwani voted to remain under French control. The islands' first president, Ahmed Abdallah Abderemane was removed from government by foreign mercenaries and three years later he returned to power by force. In 1989 rebel groups assassinated him. The islands have struggled to maintain political stability and economic stability in the face of fluctuating cash crop prices and environmental disasters that impeded development.

Further information

Last updated : 07-Jun-2018

This article was produced by South African History Online on 21-Mar-2011

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