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Brief History of Comoros:
The islands that today make up the small island nation of Comoros have been conquered and ruled by various groups from the nearby areas including the Persians, Indonesians, and Africans. Comoros was first discovered by Europeans in 1505. The Portuguese were the first to visit, but it was the French who colonized the islands starting in 1841.
The islands were used for agriculture and many of the crops were exported to other lands. In 1975 some of the islands declared independence from France. The island of Mayotte decided to keep their ties with France. Since then the country of Comoros has had a series of coups and civil unrest over its short history.
The Geography of Comoros
Total Size: 2,170 square km
Size Comparison: slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 12 10 S, 44 15 E
World Region or Continent: Africa
General Terrain: volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
Geographical Low Point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point: Le Kartala 2,360 m
Climate: tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
Major cities: MORONI (capital) 49,000 (2009)
The People of Comoros
Type of Government: republic
Languages Spoken: Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Independence: 6 July 1975 (from France)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 6 July (1975)
Religions: Sunni Muslim 98%, Roman Catholic 2%
National Symbol: four stars and crescent
National Anthem or Song: Udzima wa ya Masiwa (The Union of the Great Islands)
Economy of Comoros
Major Industries: tourism, perfume distillation
Agricultural Products: vanilla, cloves, perfume essences, copra, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca)
Natural Resources: NEGL
Major Exports: vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), cloves, copra
Major Imports: rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, cement, transport equipment
Currency: Comoran franc (KMF)
National GDP: $837,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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