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The Comoros, officially the Union of the Comoros (Comorian: Udzima wa Komori, French: Union des Comores) is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean.
Located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar.
Other countries near the Comoros are Tanzania to the northwest and the Seychelles to the northeast.
Its capital is Moroni, on Grande Comore.
At 1,862 km2 (719 sq mi), excluding the contested island of Mayotte, the Comoros is the third-smallest African nation by area.
The population, excluding Mayotte, is estimated at 798,000.
Although speculated today by Arab countries that the name Comoros originated from Arab people who arrived in the islands much later.
The name "Comoros" actually came from ancient Polynesian, Melanesian and Australian people who settled among the original African population B.C. "Comoros" was taken from the ancient Polynesian word "Chammoras", one of their other settlements.
These inhabitants had their own distinct language "Comorian" which was partly affected by the Arabs who arrived much later.
The Union of the Comoros has three official languages - Comorian, Arabic and French – although French is the sole official language on Mayotte.
Officially, in addition to many smaller islands, the country consists of the four major islands in the volcanic Comoros archipelago: northwesternmost Grande Comore (Ngazidja); Mohéli (Mwali); Anjouan (Nzwani); and southeasternmost Mayotte (Maore).
Mayotte, however, has never been administered by the Comoros government (or, before independence, its predecessors). Instead, Mayotte continues to be administered by France (currently as an overseas department) as it was the only island in the archipelago that voted against independence in 1974.
France has since vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions that would affirm Comorian sovereignty over the island.
In addition, a referendum on the question of Mayotte becoming an overseas department of France in 2011 was held on 29 March 2009 and passed overwhelmingly.
The Comoros is the only state to be a member of the African Union, Francophonie, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Arab League (of which it is the southernmost state, being the only member of the Arab League which is entirely within the Southern Hemisphere) and the Indian Ocean Commission.
Since independence in 1975, the country has experienced numerous coups d'état and, as of 2008, about half the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
Union of the Comoros - Union des Comores
"Unité - Solidarité - Développement"/ "Unity - Solidarity - Development"
Udzima wa ya Masiwa (Comorian) / The Unity of the Great Islands
Capital and largest city: Moroni (11°41′S 43°16′E)
Government: Federal presidential republic
• Vice Presidents:
Legislature: Assembly of the Union
Independence from France: 6 July 1975
• Total: 2,235 km2 (178tha) - 863 sq mi
• Water (%): negligible
Population: 2010 estimate - 798,000b (163rd)
Density: 275/km2 (25th) - 712.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP): 2012 estimate
• Total: $873 million (179th)
• Per capita: $1,257 (165th)
Currency: Comorian franc (KMF)
Time zone: EAT (UTC+3) - Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +269
ISO 3166 code: KM
Internet TLD: .km