Comoros Islands

The three-island Union of the Comoros gained independence from France in 1975 but its post-colonial history has been troubled by some twenty coup d’états.

More recently, the Comoros appear to be stabilizing under the 2001 constitution that granted the islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan, Moheli greater autonomy within a federal union. The presidency rotates every four years between the elected presidents from the three islands. The current president of the Union is Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, an Iranian-trained Sunni Muslim cleric, who won the first peaceful elections of the country in 2006. The Comoros also lays claim to Mayotte, a neighboring island in the Comoros archipelago, which is still administrated as a French overseas territory.

The population is around 700,000, with 98 percent Sunni Muslims.

About 56 percent of the population is literate.

The country has three official languages, Comorian, French and Arabic.

More general information is available at BBC Country Profile and at Wikipedia in both English and Arabic.

Official information can be found at the website of the Presidency of the Union in French.