Colonization of the Comoros
The Comoros were settled relatively late, around 500 AD. It is assumed that this was done by Bantu tribes from East Africa, who were later followed by people from the Indonesian region.
At that time, these peoples probably encountered largely untouched nature and established their first settlements on the islands. Traders from the Arab world followed and they brought their religion, Islam, with them. Immigrants from the East African coast and immigrants from the neighboring island of Madagascar followed. The islands were strongly influenced by Arab and African influences. People built mosques to pursue their beliefs and many also worked as traders.
The Europeans came
Around 1500 seafarers from Portugal discovered the Comoros on their voyages and stayed on the island of Grande Comore, the largest of the four islands in the archipelago. A few years later, people came from the Persian region, settled on the islands and founded sultanates. Similar to the cities on the East African coast, the Comoros belonged to the East African Swahili culture. The rule was held by families from Persia and Arabia.
Pirates and slavers
Pirates were also increasingly interested in the Comoros islands. They found shelter in the hidden bays of the coast. They exploited the forests by using the wood to build their ships. A tribe from Madagascar, the Sakalava, who were slave traders, also took control of parts of the Comoros. At this time the slave trade flourished and because of the close distance to Madagascar the Sakalava came to the Comoros and enslaved the inhabitants.
In 1841 the island of Mayotte became a protectorate of France and the French forbade the slave trade. The other islands followed. The sultanates that existed on the islands were largely preserved, but were now under French “protection”. Since 1887 the islands of Anjouan, Grand Comore and Mohéli have also been part of the “Protectorate of the Comoros”.
In 1912 they were subordinated to the Governor General of Madagascar as a colony. The slave trade was forbidden, but the French businessmen who built large plantations exploited the workers who grew products such as coffee, cocoa and spices for starvation wages.
Road to independence
The Comoros gained independence on July 6th, 1975. Ahmed Abdallah became president, but he only came to power with the help of a mercenary leader named Bob Denard. These two ruled dictatorially and exploited the country. After a change they came back to power in 1978 and now declared the Comoros an Islamic Federal Republic.
The president was at the head of a unity party, the country was not governed democratically. This also led to the murder of Ahmed Abdallah. His former supporter was also involved in the murder. There were several changes of government and coups in a row, in which Bob Denard played a role again and again. In 1995 he was arrested.
The Comoros today
Today the Union of the Comoros is an Islamic Federal Republic in which each island is largely independent. The basis is the constitution of 2001. It is based on the legal system of France and the Islamic Sharia, i.e. Islamic law. Each island has its own parliament and an elected governor. However, the island of Mayotte is still under French administration.
However, there is a joint head of state for the islands who is elected every five years. This head of government then also appoints the country’s ministers. In 2011, Dr. Ikililou Dhoinine was elected President of the Comoros, and Azali Assoumani took office in 2016. He was President of the Comoros from 1999 to 2006.
The farmers of the Comoros and the most famous perfume in the world
Ylang-ylang plants grow in the Comoros, a country located in Africa according to programingplease. The aroma of its flowers should be beguiling. The country is the world’s largest producer of these flowers. These flowers are an important ingredient in perfumes, including those of well-known brands such as Chanel No. which is often referred to as the world’s most famous perfume. 5. The farmers grow this plant, but the yield is low. It takes a lot of work to get a result. It is not only used for perfume, but also for soap and oil.
The farmers only get one euro for one kilo of flowers. The flowers will probably still be harvested because the smell is difficult to produce artificially. So wants Chanel No. 5 continue to smell the way it smells now, then the farmers on the Comoros will be needed even longer. It’s just a shame that they themselves get so little benefit from it.
Islam as the state religion
The Islam dominates everyday life in the Comoros. 98 out of 100 Comoran people are Muslim, namely Sunni. The focus is also on Muslim holidays, such as the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice or the fasting month of Ramadan. These holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar, so they have no specific date, but shift from year to year.
The country of coups and coup attempts
Anyone who mentions the name “Bob Denard” in the Comoros can also speak of a military coup. Since the country gained independence in 1975, coups have taken place here, a total of 17 times. And several times Bob Denard was one of the pullers of the coup attempts, so he was in the foreground or in the background.
Government coups or at least attempts were almost part of everyday life on the Comoros. In recent years, however, the country has stabilized.