Geographic and Governmental Profile of Comoros

Background
Comoros has endured more than 20 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared independence from Comoros. In 1999, military chief Col. AZALI seized power in a bloodless coup, and helped negotiate the 2000 Fomboni Accords power-sharing agreement in which the federal presidency rotates among the three islands, and each island maintains its local government. AZALI won the 2002 presidential election, and each island in the archipelago elected its president. AZALI stepped down in 2006 and President SAMBI was elected to office. In 2007, Mohamed BACAR effected Anjouan's de-facto secession from the Union, refusing to step down in favor of fresh Anjouanais elections when Comoros' other islands held legitimate elections in July. The African Union (AU) initially attempted to resolve the political crisis by applying sanctions and a naval blockade on Anjouan, but in March 2008 AU and Comoran soldiers seized the island. The move was generally welcomed by the island's inhabitants.
Location
Southern Africa, group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Geographic coordinates
12 10 S, 44 15 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
2,235 sq km
rank:
180
land:
2,235 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
340 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
Climate
tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
Terrain
volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Karthala 2,360 m
Natural resources
NEGL
Land use
arable land:
35.87%
permanent crops:
23.32%
other:
40.81% (2005)
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Irrigated land
NA
Total renewable water resources
1.2 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.01 cu km/yr (48%/5%/47%)
per capita:
13 cu m/yr (1999)
Natural hazards
cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); volcanic activity on Grand Comore
volcanism:
Karthala (elev. 2,361 m) on Grand Comore Island last erupted in 2007; a 2005 eruption forced thousands of people to be evacuated and produced a large ash cloud
Environment - current issues
soil degradation and erosion results from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel
Country name
conventional long form:
Union of the Comoros
conventional short form:
Comoros
local long form:
Udzima wa Komori (Comorian); Union des Comores (French); Jumhuriyat al Qamar al Muttahidah (Arabic)
local short form:
Komori (Comorian); Comores (French); Juzur al Qamar (Arabic)
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Moroni
geographic coordinates:
11 42 S, 43 14 E
time difference:
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
3 islands and 4 municipalities*; Grande Comore (N'gazidja), Anjouan (Ndzuwani), Domoni*, Fomboni*, Moheli (Mwali), Moroni*, Moutsamoudou*
Independence
6 July 1975 (from France)
Constitution
23 December 2001
Legal system
mixed legal system of Islamic religious law, the French civil code of 1975, and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Ikililou DHOININE (since 26 May 2011)
head of government:
President Ikililou DHOININE (since 26 May 2011)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections:
as defined by the 2001 constitution, the presidency rotates every four years among the elected presidents from the three main islands in the Union; election last held on 7 November and 26 December 2010 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
Ikililou DHOININE elected president; percent of vote - Ikililou DHOININE 61.1%, Mohamed Said FAZUL 32.7%, Abdou DJABIR 6.2%
Legislative branch
unicameral Assembly of the Union (33 seats; 15 deputies are selected by the individual islands' local assemblies and 18 by universal suffrage to serve for five years);
elections:
last held on 6 and 20 December 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - pro-union coalition 19, autonomous coalition 4, independents 1; note - 9 additional seats are filled by deputies from local island assemblies
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Cour Supremes (two members appointed by the president, two members elected by the Federal Assembly, one elected by the Council of each island, and others are former presidents of the republic)
Political parties and leaders
Camp of the Autonomous Islands or CdIA (a coalition of parties organized by the islands' presidents in opposition to the Union President); Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros or CRC [AZALI Assowmani]; Front National pour la Justice or FNJ [Ahmed RACHID] (Islamic party in opposition); Mouvement pour la Democratie et le Progress or MDP-NGDC [Abbas DJOUSSOUF]; Parti Comorien pour la Democratie et le Progress or PCDP [Ali MROUDJAE]; Rassemblement National pour le Development or RND [Omar TAMOU, Abdoulhamid AFFRAITANE]
Political pressure groups and leaders
other:
environmentalists
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AMF, AOSIS, AU, COMESA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Mohamed TOIHIRI; note - also serves Permanent Representative to the UN
chancery:
Mission to the US, 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 418, New York, NY 10017
telephone:
[1] (212) 750-1637
Diplomatic representation from the US
the US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Madagascar is accredited to Comoros
Flag description
four equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), white, red, and blue, with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist; centered within the triangle is a white crescent with the convex side facing the hoist and four white, five-pointed stars placed vertically in a line between the points of the crescent; the horizontal bands and the four stars represent the four main islands of the archipelago - Mwali, N'gazidja, Nzwani, and Mahore (Mayotte - territorial collectivity of France, but claimed by Comoros)
the crescent, stars, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam
National symbol(s)
four stars and crescent
National anthem
name:
"Udzima wa ya Masiwa" (The Union of the Great Islands)
lyrics/music:
Said Hachim SIDI ABDEREMANE/Said Hachim SIDI ABDEREMANE and Kamildine ABDALLAH
adopted 1978
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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