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Friday 24th May
Comoros Facts
Karthala, a shield volcano on the south of Grande Comore Island, is the highest point in the Union of the Comoros (2,360 m).

There are four islands in the Comoros Archipelago. Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan belong to the Union of the Comoros. Mayotte, the fourth island, is a Territorial Collectivity of France.

It is thought that early inhabitants of the Comoros islands were people of Malaysian and Polynesian origin.

Colonists also came to the islands from Madagascar, the African mainland and the Middle East.

Islam was brought to the Comoros Archipelago by Arab migrants.

The Portuguese arrived in the islands in the early sixteenth century.

Comoros was a trading centre for spices and slaves.

Comoros was known as the perfumed islands as plants grown there, ylang ylang, vanilla and cloves, are ingredients in perfume manufacture.

European countries traded in slaves until legislation prohibited the slave trade. Acts of Parliament were passed in European countries at different times.

France established control over the islands between the mid nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.

Mayotte was the first island to come under French control.

France established a protectorate over the Comoros islands in 1886.

In 1912 Comoros became a French colony administered by the Governor General of Madagascar.

During the Second World War British troops invaded the Comoros and Madagascar, handing the islands to the Free French government.

In 1947 Comoros became an Overseas Territory of France.

Comoros gained a degree of autonomy in 1961.

In 1974 the people of Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan voted for independence but sixty-four percent of the voters in Mayotte decided to remain with France.

In 1975 Comoros (Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan) unilaterally declared independence.

Since independence Comoros has experienced a number of coups.

Moheli and Anjouan declared unilateral independence in 1997.

A new Constitution, approved in 2001, gave greater autonomy to each of the islands in the Union of the Comoros (Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan).

Mount Karthala, one of the world's largest active volcanoes, erupted in April and November 2005.

Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, president of Comoros from 2006 to 2011, was detained in 2018 on corruption charges.

In 2019 the Comoros islands suffered from pounding by Tropical Cyclone Kenneth.

Comoros is classified as a Small Island Developing State, one of thirty-eight UN member SIDS. SIDS are said to contribute less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions but these small islands are very much affected by climate change, exposed to rising sea-levels, and water and food security.

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