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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Comoros

The Comoros islands' vegetation is rich and varied: 65% of the world's perfume essence comes from here, being processed from the blossoms of ylang-ylang, jasmine and orange. Spices, including nutmeg, cloves, pepper, basil and vanilla, are another mainstay of the economy. The islands are of volcanic origin and are surrounded by coral reefs and the more energetic travellers will be eager to climb to the top of Mount Karthala, an active volcano on Ngazidja, or enjoy a vast range of watersports.A former French Overseas Territory, the Comoros only became fully independent in 1975, despite consistent pressure on the French from the islands’ government. The main reason was the position of Mayotte, one of the original Comoros island group, which insisted upon retaining its links with France.With Mayotte going its own way, the Comoros islands joined the United Nations as the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros, comprising three islands: Ngazidja (formerly Grande Comore), Nzwani (formerly Anjouan) and Mwali (formerly Mohéli). Mahoré (Mayotte) is administered by France but is claimed by the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros. Since independence, instability has characterised post-independence politics on the islands, with several coup attempts.

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