COMOROS: Concerns over possible social unrest

PORT LOUIS Friday, August 22, 2008 (IRIN) - High food and fuel prices may push Comoros to the brink of "social unrest" says a senior UN official....

COMOROS: Cost of democracy thwarts development

PORT LOUIS Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (IRIN) - The expense of maintaining democracy in Comoros is proving such a burden that the government is...
COMOROS: Anjouan situation wor...

COMOROS: Anjouan situation worse than thought

With preparations for new local elections under way, following a successful military venture by the Comoros Union government and African Union (AU)...
COMOROS: No quick fix after mi...

COMOROS: No quick fix after military strike

The end of Mohamed Bacar's rebel rule in Anjouan could boost political stability on the Comoros archipelago, but the humanitarian problems will take...
African troops invade rebel-he...

African troops invade rebel-held island of Anjouan

Comoros, backed by African Union forces, has invaded the island of Anjouan in an effort to topple the rebel leadership of Mohamed Bacar, who has been...
COMOROS: New polls promised as...

COMOROS: New polls promised as military take over Anjouan

Comoros will establish an interim government on the island of Anjouan by the end of the week, paving the way for a swift democratic election on the...

National Name: Union des Comores


Capital: Moroni
Major Town: Fomboni, Moya, Domoni
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): 11°41'S, 43°16'E
Time Zone: EAT (UTC+3)
Size (Land and Sea): 2,170 sq km
Borders with Indian Ocean
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m; Highest point: Le Kartala 2,360 m

Head of State: President Ahmed Abdallah M. Sambi
Form of Government: Federal Republic
Independancy (from France): July 6, 1975 
Currency: Comorian franc (KMF)


Main Industries: Fishing, tourism, perfume distillation.
Natural resources: negl.
Agriculture: vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca).

Population and People

Population: 710,960 (2007 est.)
Population density per sq mi: 849
Growth rate: 2.8%
Birth rate: 36.35 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.97 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 70.8/1000
Religion: Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%
Languages: Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Ethnic groups / Tribes: Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava
Average age: 0-14 years: 42.6% (male 151,920/female 150,851); 15-64 years: 54.4% (male 191,096/female 196,120); 65 years and over: 3% (male 9,933/female 11,497) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 62.7
Literacy (definition: age 15 and over can read and write): Total population: 56.5%; male: 63.6%, female: 49.3% (2003 est.)

  • The third smallest African nation by area
  • The sixth smallest African nation by population
  • Its name derives from the Arabic word qamar ("moon")
  • Consists of the four islands in the volcanic Comoros archipelago
  • Island of Mayotte still administered by France because Mayotte was the only island in the archipelago that voted against independence from France
  • Crossroads of many civilizations
  • It is the only state to be a member of each of the African Union, Francophonie, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Arab League, and Indian Ocean Commission, among other international organizations
  • Karthala is currently one of the most active volcanoes in the world
  • Comoros is the world's largest producer of ylang-ylang (the essential oil of ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy) and a large producer of vanilla
  • One of the most densely populated, with an average of 275 people per km²
  • 65% of the world's perfume essence comes from Comoros
  • Famous for its spices, including nutmeg, cloves, pepper, basil and vanilla
  • Volcanic origin
  • Surrounded by coral reefs
  • Capital Moroni: charming town with old, narrow, winding streets; Vendredi Mosque
  • Itsandra was once the ancient capital of the island
  • Mitsamiouli is known both for its good diving facilities and for having the best Comoran dancers
  • Hot sulphur springs at Lac Salé
  • 14th-century village at Iconi
  • Waterfall at Miringoni
  • Green turtle and Giant turtles
  • Nzwani (Anjouan) is notable for its waterfalls and an abundant vegetation
  • Mutsamudu is built in Swahili-Shirazi style, complete with 17th-century houses with carved doors, twisting alleyways, mosques and a citadel
  • Perfume distilleries
  • Wonderful beaches and excellent scuba-diving facilities
  • Arab Quarter in Moroni with elaborately carved Swahili doors
  • The lagoon on Mayotte claims to be the largest in the world
  • 19th-century sugar refineries