Comoros Politics

Comoros Politics, Population and Geography

Background: The unstable Comoros has experienced 19 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence in 1975 (a French colony until 1975). In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared independence from the Comoros. The government of the republic tried to regain control of the rebellious islands by force, but the attempt was unsuccessful, and at the moment the Organization of African Unity is acting as an intermediary in reconciliation negotiations. See to know more about Comoros History.


Location: South Africa, a group of islands in the Mozambique Channel, about one third of the way from northern Mozambique to northern Madagascar.
Geographical coordinates: 12° 10′ S. latitude, 44° 15’E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 2,170 sq. km.; land surface area: 2,170 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: about 12 times the size of the city of Washington.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 340 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; rainy season from November to May.
Terrain: volcanic islands; There are high mountains and low hills.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Le Cartal 2,360 m.
Natural resources: negligible.
Land use: arable land: 35%; cultivated land: 10%; pastures: 7%; forests and plantations: 18%; others: 30% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: cyclones, sometimes occurring during the rainy season (December to April); Mount Le Cartala on the island of Grande Comore is an active volcano.
Current environmental issues: soil degradation and erosion as a result of growing cereal crops on mountain slopes, carried out without appropriate measures to prevent landslides; deforestation.
International environmental agreements: member: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Hazardous wastes, Law of the sea, Ozone layer protection, Ship pollution, Wetlands. signed but not ratified: no.
Geography Note: An important location at the northern entrance to the Mozambique Channel.


Population: 596,202 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 42.81% (male 127,955; female 127,267); 15 to 64 years old: 54.26% (male 159,560; female 163,949); over 65: 2.93% (male 8,326; female 9,145) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3.02% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 39.52 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 9.35 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: negligible (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; under 15: 1.01 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.97 male/female; over 65: 0.91 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 84.07 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 60.41 years; men: 58.2 years; women: 62.68 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 5.32 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.12% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Comorian; adjective: Comorian.
Ethnic groups: Antalots (Komorians), Kaffirs, Makoa, Oimatsakha, Sakalava.
Believers: Sunni Muslim 98%, Catholic 2%.
Languages): Arabic (official), French (official), Comorian (a mixture of Swahili and Arabic).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 57.3%; men: 64.2%; women: 50.4% (1995 est.).


conventional long form: Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros;
conventional short form: Comoros; local long form: Republique Federale Islamique des Comores; local short form: Comores.
State structure: independent republic.
Capital: Moroni.
Administrative division: three islands: Anjouan (Ndzuani), Grand Comore (Ngazidja) and Moheli (Mwali); note: there are also four municipalities – Domoni, Moroni, Mutsamudu and Fomboni.
Independence: from July 6, 1975 (until 1975 – a colony of France).
National holiday: Independence Day, 6 July (1975).
Constitution: adopted October 20, 1996
Legal system: a new, unified code of laws based on French and Islamic law.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President AZALI Assoumani (since 6 May 1999); note – the interim government led by President Tajiddine Ben Said MASSOUNDE, which came to power on November 6, 1998 after the death of President Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim, was overthrown in a bloodless coup 30 April 1999;
head of government: Prime Minister Hamada MADI (since late November 2000);
Government: a council of ministers appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections were last held on 6 and 16 March 1996 (the next date is unknown); the prime minister is appointed by the president; note: after the 1999 coup, President AZALI announced that he would remain in office for one year; elections should theoretically take place in the spring of 2000, but most likely their holding will depend on whether the island of Anjouan remains part of the federation; election results: results of most recent presidential elections prior to 1999 coup: Mohamed TAQI Abdulkarim elected president; percentage of votes – 64.3%.
Legislature: the bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (15 members, five from each island; members are elected by regional councils for six-year terms) and the Federal Assembly (43 members, elected by popular vote for five-year terms); note – the Federal Assembly was dissolved after the coup on April 30, 1999; elections: to the Federal Assembly were last held on December 1 and 8, 1996 (the date of the next ones is unknown); election results: for the Federal Assembly – distribution of votes by party: NA; number of seats by party: RND 39, FNJ 3, independent 1; note: according to the constitution, only parties that have received six seats in the Federal Assembly (two mandates from each island) have the right to be in opposition; if no party satisfies this condition, then the opposition becomes the party received the second largest number of votes; after the December 1996 elections, the FNJ was recognized as the parliamentary opposition.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court, two judges are appointed by the President, two are elected by the Federal Assembly, one by the Councils of each of the three islands, and former presidents of the republic also become judges.
Political parties and leaders: National Front for Justice (FNJ) (Islamic opposition party) (Ahmed Abdallah MOHAMED, Ahmed ABOUBACAR, Soidiki M’BAPANOZA); National Rally for Development (RND) (ruling party) (Ali Bazi SELIM).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, CCC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, InOC, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant).
Diplomatic representation in the United States: head of mission: Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Mahmoud Mohamed ABOUD (Map-moud Mohamed ABOUD); office: (temporary) through the Permanent Mission of the Comoros to the UN: 420 East 50th Street, New York, New York 10022; phone: [1] (212) 972-8010; fax: [\) (212) 983-4712.
US Diplomatic Mission: The US does not have an embassy in the Comoros; the US Ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to the Comoros.
Flag Description: green, with a white crescent in the center; the horns of the crescent are directed downward; between the ends of the horns on the same line are four white five-pointed stars; the crescent, stars and green are traditional symbols of Islam; four stars represent the four main islands of the archipelago – Mwali, Ngazidzha, Ndzua-ni and Mayotte (possession of France, disputed by the Comoros); the current flag, being the last among several options, is described in the constitution, approved by referendum on June 7, 1992.

Comoros Politics