Comoros By | Saturday, September 8   2012 at  14:57

Full Name
Union of the Comoros (English)
Udzima wa Komori (Comorian)
Union des Comores (French)
Origins: The name "Comoros" is derived from the Arabic kamar or kumr, meaning "moon," although this name was first applied by Arab geographers to Madagascar. It was adopted by French colonialists to describe the islands

Current Leader
May 26 2011- to present Ikililou Dhoinine

Overview
Over the centuries, the islands were invaded by a succession of diverse groups from the coast of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Indonesia and Madagascar
The culture is mainly European and Arabic
Former French Colony
Achieved independence on July 6, 1975

Form of Government
Republic
Head of State is the President
The presidency rotates every four years among the elected presidents from the three main islands in the Union

Government Structure
President
Unicameral Assembly of the Union

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for military service: 271,414 People
Expenditures: 2.8% of GDP
Branches: National Development Army (and) Comoran Security Force, Comoran Federal Police

Former Rulers
July 6, 1975 – August 3, 1975 Ahmed Abdallah Abderemane
1975 - January 1976 Said Mohamed Jaffar
1976- 1978 Ali Soilih
May 13, 1978 - May 23,1978 Said Atthoumani
1978 - 1989 Ahmed Abdallah
November 26, 1989 - November 27, 1989 Haribon Chebani provisional president
1990 – 1995 Said Mohammed Djohar
1996 - 1998 Mohamed Taki Abdoulkarim
1998 – 1999 Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde interim president
1999 – 2002 Azali Assoumani
January 21, 2002 - May 26, 2002 Hamada Madi Bolero interim president
2002 – 2006 Azali Assoumani
2006-May 2011Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi

Capital
Moroni
Altitude: 13 metres
Population: 42,872 million people

Population
Size: 839,189 people
Life Expectancy: 63.5 years
Gender make-up: Female - 50.39%, Male –49.61%

GDP per capita
$ 1,200 (2011)

$ 1,200 (2010)

Geography
Area: 2,235sqkm
Land Boundaries: None

Major Languages

Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Kiswahili and Arabic)

Religious Portfolio
Sunni Muslim 98%, Christianity ( Roman Catholic) 2%

National Make-up
Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava

Natural Resources
Negligible

Main exports
Vanilla, Cloves, Perfume oil, Copra

Land Use
Arable land: 35.87%
Permanent crops: 23.32%
Other: 40.81%

Currency
Comoran Franc

Dialling Code
+269

Internet Code
.km

Transport
Main airport: Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport located 23km North of Moroni
Main Port: Mutsamudu

Modern issues

Environmental
Soil degradation and erosion
Deforestation

It also suffers from rising sea levels, over-fishing, water shortages and inadequate sanitation services, waste is fast becoming a key problem. In the Comoros, collection and disposal of wastes is virtually non-existent

Political
Elections held in 2010 where former Vice President won.

Ikililou Dhoinine, faced widespread protests over fuel prices and supplies in October, following an increase in oil shortages, and bringing to an end the new president's honeymoon period
Comoros has endured more than 19 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence

Economic
Vanilla, cloves, copra, and ylang ylang, which gave the Comoros the name "Perfume Islands," account for most exports
Seventy per cent of the active population engages in subsistence and commercial farming
Comoros is one of the poorest countries in the world with an economy that is barely growing. A big part of the problem is the lack of an effective transportation network.

Social
High unemployment rate
Gender inequality

Foreign Policy issues
Claims French-administered Mayotte and challenges France's and Madagascar's claims to Banc du Geyser, a drying reef in the Mozambique Channel
In May 2008, African Union forces were called in to assist the Comoros military recapture Anjouan Island from rebels who seized it in 2001

The Major Conflicts

Internal conflicts
There have been more than 19 coups or attempted coups since independence and six major ones were as follows:
1975 August - Abdallah deposed in coup assisted by French mercenary Colonel Bob Denard, and replaced by Prince Said Mohammed Jaffar
1976 - Jaffar replaced by Ali Soilih, who tried to turn the country into a secular, socialist republic
1978 - Soilih toppled and killed by mercenaries led by Denard, who restored Abdallah to power
1989 - Abdallah assassinated by presidential guard under command of Denard, who stages coup, France intervenes, Denard leaves islands
1995 - Djohar removed in a coup attempt led by Denard. French troops intervene, Denard surrenders
1999 April - Massounde ousted in a coup led by the chief of the General Staff, Col Azali Assoumani

What to see
Mount Karthala
Dziani Boundouni crater
Itsandra fishing village
Lac Salé hot sulphur spring
Miringoni waterfall
Mutsamudu Swahili-Shirazi style buildings

Sports
Popular Sports
Soccer
Athletics

Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen;
Hadhari Saindou Djaffar is a sprinter and holds the country record in 100m, 200m and 400m

Quirks
In some communities women still eat in the kitchen as men use the dinner table
In the cities, the size of the house a family builds for its daughter reflects its wealth