Archive for the ‘Comoros’ Category

Country Specific Information: Comoros

May 29, 2011 Comments off

Country Specific Information: Comoros
Source: U.S. Department of State

May 24, 2011

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Union of the Comoros is a developing nation located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. Comoros consists of three islands, Ngazidja (also known as Grand Comore), Moheli, and Anjouan, that are spread across an area of about 900 square miles. Ngazidja is home to the capital city, Moroni, and is the most developed of the three islands. Facilities for tourism are limited and telecommunication links are unreliable. French, Arabic, Swahili, and Comoran are spoken. A fourth island, Mayotte, officially changed status from a French “collectivity” to an actual French Department in March 2011. The U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar handles consular issues arising in both Comoros and Mayotte. Read the Department of State Background Notes on the Union of Comoros for additional information.

State Department Background Notes — Union of the Comoros

March 13, 2011 Comments off

State Department Background Notes — Union of the Comoros
Source: U.S. Department of State

Until recently, Comoran politics were plagued by political instability and civil strife, with numerous coups and secession attempts since independence from France in 1975. The most recent secession attempt was on the island of Anjouan in 1997-1999, wherein rival factions on the island of Anjouan both wanted to secede but could not agree on whether to declare independence or to join France. This disagreement erupted into violence, which eventually spread to the other islands as well. It was partially in response to this that then-Colonel Assoumani Azali took over the national government in 1999 in a bloodless coup d’etat. In May 1999, Azali decreed a constitution that gave him both executive and legislative powers. When Azali took power, he had pledged to step down in 2000 and relinquish control to a democratically elected president. Instead, in 2001, Azali resigned from the military and ran as a civilian candidate for the national presidency. He was elected in 2002 in flawed but fair elections.

In June 2007, individual island elections on Grande Comore and Moheli were held on schedule, but on Anjouan, island governor Mohamed Bacar refused to step down, held a sham election, and declared himself Island Governor for another term. In March 2008, Comoran and African Union (AU) forces restored constitutional rule on Anjouan. A new election for island governor was held peacefully in June 2008.


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