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Published on Mar 31, 2012
The Comoros islands are an archipelago in the Indian Ocean located about 320 km east of northern Mozambique and 480 km west of Madagascar. It comprises four islands: Grande Comore (Ngazidja), Anjouan (Nzuwani), Mohéli (Mwali) and Mayotte (Mahore). The name 'Comoros' derives from the Arabic word 'Qamar' meaning the 'moon'.
The Comoros islands are known in Arabic as 'Juzur Al Qumur', which means'Islands of the moon'. Comoros gained independence from France in 1975, subsequently enduring a period of coups d'état and secession attempts which lasted until 2001. That year a new constitution was adopted, establishing the 'Union of the Comoros' which gave more autonomy to country. Since then, the Union of the Comoros has had a president and a government with a four-year term and a parliament with a five-year term, while each of the islands has had a president, a government and a parliament with a five-year mandate.