Useful Notes: Comoros

The Union of the Comoros is a small African country composed of a few islands between Mozambique and Madagascar.

The country declared independence from France in 1975, but since then has endured coup after coup, making its political stability shaky. Nostalgia for the pre-independence days has resulted in the occasional petition from some of the islands to return to French rule… which obviously upsets the military rulers. Tensions are not helped by the fact that the archipelago also contains the island of Mayotte – claimed by Comoros and under its control before and during the colonial period, but still to this day administered by France because (unlike on the other islands) its population has consistently voted to remain French and wants nothing to do with the folks currently running the other islands.

Since the islands were formed from volcanic activity, you can guess there are still lots of it going around here. And considering how small the islands are, every time there’s an eruption, the population of the whole island has to be evacuated.

It produces a lot of vanilla and is the world’s biggest exporter of ylang-ylang (used to make essential oil).

By the way, it is a Muslim country, something you wouldn't expect considering how far south the islands are (its closest neighbours are Christian-majority Mozambique and Madagascar). Indeed, it is the southernmost Muslim majority country. The religion probably came via traders from Yemen.

The Comores flag
The yellow, white, red, and blue stripes symbolize the islands of Mohéli, Mayotte (still under French administration as its citizens prefer), Anjouan, and Grand Comore, respectively; the hoist side incorporates the islands' former flag, in use from 1978 to 2001, as a green triangle (symbolizing unity) containing the white crescent of Islam but with four (instead of one) stars, representing the four islands (including Mayotte).