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The Union of the Comoros is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel between northern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. The nearest countries to the Comoros are Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, and the Seychelles. Prior to 2002, it was known officially as the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros.
The country consists of three islands in the volcanic Comoros archipelago: Ngazidja, Mwali, Nzwani. Comoros also lays claim to Mayotte, a neighboring island in the Comoro archipelago, which however is a French Overseas collectivity.
The Comoros is notable for its diverse culture and history, as a nation formed at the crossroads of many civilizations. It has three official languages—Comorian (Shikomor), Arabic, and French, and it is the only state to be a member of each of the African Union, Francophonie, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Arab League, and Indian Ocean Commission, among other international organizations. However it has had a troubled history since independence in 1975, marked for its inordinate number of coups d'état. The Comoros is the third smallest African nation by area, and one of the smallest in the world, and with a population estimated at 798,000 it is also the sixth smallest African nation by population (though it consequently has one of the highest population densities in Africa). The Comoros is sometimes considered a microstate. Its name derives from the Arabic word qamar ("moon"), as seen depicted on its flag.
Sources: Wikipedia and CIA World Factbook
Queries and Surnames
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