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Comoros:
Geography

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Comoros Page


Background
Definition
Comoros has endured more than 20 coups or attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1975. In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Moheli declared independence from Comoros. In 1999, military chief Col. AZALI seized power in a bloodless coup, and helped negotiate the 2000 Fomboni Accords power-sharing agreement in which the federal presidency rotates among the three islands, and each island maintains its own local government. AZALI won the 2002 Presidential election, and each island in the archipelago elected its own president. AZALI stepped down in 2006 and President SAMBI took office. Since 2006, Anjouan's President Mohamed BACAR has refused to work effectively with the Union presidency. In 2007, BACAR effected Anjouan's de-facto secession from the Union, refusing to step down in favor of fresh Anjouanais elections when Comoros' other islands held legitimate elections in July. The African Union (AU) initially attempted to resolve the political crisis by applying sanctions and a naval blockade on Anjouan, but in March 2008, AU and Comoran soldiers seized the island. The move was generally welcomed by the island's inhabitants.
Location
Definition
Southern Africa, group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Geographic coordinates
Definition
12 10 S, 44 15 E
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 2,170 sq km
land: 2,170 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly more than 12 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
340 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)
Terrain
Definition
volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Le Kartala 2,360 m
Natural resources
Definition
NEGL
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 35.87%
permanent crops: 23.32%
other: 40.81% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Total renewable water resources
Definition
1.2 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.01 cu km/yr (48%/5%/47%)
per capita: 13 cu m/yr (1999)
Natural hazards
Definition
cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); Le Kartala on Grand Comore is an active volcano
Environment - current issues
Definition
soil degradation and erosion results from crop cultivation on slopes without proper terracing; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
important location at northern end of Mozambique Channel


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