After achieving independence from France in 1975, the Southern African nation of the Union of Comoros was plagued by a long series of coups. Following a bloodless coup in 1999, the three islands that make up Comoros have shared power through a sometimes-unstable federal system. Many Comorans are engaged in subsistence agriculture, and only 28 percent of the population has been urbanized.

Ethnic groups include Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, and Sakalava. Ninety-eight percent of Comorans are Sunni Muslim. Located off the southeastern coast of Africa, Comoros is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita income of only $1,000 and a poverty rate of 60 percent. One-fifth of the workforce is unemployed. The country is heavily dependent on foreign aid and remittances ...

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