Comoros Timeline

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The archipelago of Comoros near Mozambique in East Africa is composed of 4 islands  Anjouan, Moheli and Grande Comore and Mayotte. Anjouan, Moheli and Grande Comore became independent in 1975 as the Union of Comoros, while Mayotte stayed French. The capital of the union is Moroni on the main island of Grand Comore.
    (SFEC, 11/24/96, p.A14)(SFC, 9/12/97, p.A12)

1886        Jan-1886 Jun, The ruler of Bambao unified Grande Comore Island into the State of Ngazidja, with the local rulers retaining their titles.

1886        Jun 24, Ngazidja (Grande Comore)  became a French protectorate.

1892        Jan 6, The local sultanates of Grande Comore were suppressed.

1912        Jul 25, The Comoros were proclaimed to be French colonies.
    (SC, 7/25/02)

1974        Mayotte Island was the only part of the Comoros archipelago that voted to remain part of France in a referendum.
    (AP, 3/13/18)

1975        Jul 6, The state of Comoros became independent with Ahmed Abdallah Abderemane (1919-1989) as its first head of state. Three of the four islands between Africa and Madagascar declared independence from France and became the nation of Comoros. Mayotte voted to remain a colony.
    (SFC, 9/12/97, p.A12)(

1989        Nov 26, In the Comoro Islands Pres. Ahmed Abdallah was assassinated in his presidential palace in Moroni. In 1999 Bob Denard (Gilbert Bourgeaud), a French mercenary and head of the presidential guard, and Dominique Malacrino were put on trial for the killing. Denard was acquitted.
    (, 5/6/99, p.A15)(SFC, 5/20/99, p.A13)

1995        Sep, Bob Denard, a French mercenary soldier, and accomplices overthrew Comoran President Mohammed Djohar, and put opposition leaders Mohammed Taki and Said-Ali Kemal in power in the Indian Ocean state. The French army intervened in October under bilateral accords with the Comoros islands, a former French colony, and captured the mercenaries.  In 2006 Denard was found guilty for his part in the coup and given a suspended five-year prison sentence. His 26 accomplices were found guilty but were given suspended sentences or were not penalized.
    (Reuters, 6/20/06)

1997        Aug 3, Anjouan Island unilaterally declared independence from Comoros. It complained that it was not receiving a fair share of export revenues mainly from the sale of ylang-ylang flowers, used to make perfume.
    (SFC, 8/10/01, p.A18)(

1997        Sep, Comoros government troops under Pres. Mohamed Taki were routed on Anjouan and half of a force of 300 were killed or captured by people who demanded to be French again.
    (SFC, 9/12/97, p.A12)

1997        Oct 27, In the Comoros the island of Anjouan held a referendum to re-unite with France and voters overwhelmingly approved the measure. France refused to accept the results.
    (SFC,10/28/97, p.A10)(

1997        Oct 29, Leaders on Anjouan announced an independent government.
    (SFC,10/30/97, p.A13)

1998        Dec 7, On the secessionist Comoros island of Anjouan separatist militias broke a short cease fire and some 10 people were reported killed.
    (SFC, 12/8/98, p.B5)

2001        Aug 9, Military troops staged a bloodless coup on the island of Anjouan due to grievances over promotions and pay.
    (SFC, 8/10/01, p.A18)

2001        Dec 19, In the Comoros Islands troops killed 5 of 13 gunmen who posed as American agents hunting al Qaeda fugitives.
    (WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)

2001        Dec 23, The Union of Comoros was saved by a new constitution which gave each island its own president.
    (Econ, 3/22/08, p.55)(

2004        Apr 26, Regional presidents looked poised to win control of the federal parliament in Comoros as preliminary election results were tallied. Each of the 3 main islands has its own president and legislature.
    (AP, 4/26/04)

2006        Sep 9, The ship Moubarak heading from Madagascar to the Comoros Islands sank in the Indian Ocean this weekend in bad weather. Of the 76 people on board, 43 people were rescued after the boat sank. 33 people were missing.
    (AP, 9/11/06)

2007        May 3, Forces loyal to the outgoing president of the Comoros island of Anjouan took control of a building housing federal offices in what one African Union official called a coup.
    (AFP, 5/4/07)

2007        Jun 1, At least one US warship bombarded a remote, mountainous village in Somalia where Islamic militants had set up a base. One target was said to be Fazul Abdullah Muhammad (35), a citizen of the Comoro Islands. The next day Puntland VP Hassan Dahir Mohamoud told The Associated Press that his government's troops killed eight foreign Islamic militants and five of them came from Britain, Eritrea, Sweden, the US and Yemen.
    (AP, 6/2/07)(AP, 6/3/07)(Econ, 7/14/07, p.52)

2007        Jun 2, The Comoros and Guinea joined the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) at a summit of the nine-year-old African grouping in Libya, raising its membership to 25 countries.
    (AP, 6/2/07)

2007        Jul 14, The population of the Comoro Islands was about 800,000.
    (Econ, 7/14/07, p.52)

2007        Aug 13, A boat carrying illegal immigrants capsized off France's Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, killing at least 17 people, eight of them children. The boat carrying 38 people was en route from the Comoros Islands about 125 miles to the northwest when it overturned while trying to evade the French coast guard.
    (AP, 8/14/07)

2007        Oct 10, The African Union imposed sanctions on leaders of the rebellious Comoro island of Anjouan in a bid to coerce them into holding fresh elections.
    (AFP, 10/11/07)

2008        Feb 19, The African Union extended by two months sanctions slapped on the rebellious Comoran isle of Anjouan in the Indian Ocean.
    (AFP, 2/19/08)

2008        Mar 10, African Union troops arrived in the Comoros before launching a military offensive against the island of Anjouan and its rebellious leader.
    (AFP, 3/10/08)

2008        Mar 13, A deployment of 100 Sudanese soldiers arrived in Comoros, ahead of a likely African Union-backed operation against the rebel island of Anjouan.
    (AFP, 3/14/08)

2008        Mar 16, Comoran soldiers encountered a "disorganized" resistance from rebel forces in Anjouan and "the confrontation that followed led to the deaths of dozens of rebel forces. The next day Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Amiri Salimou said the National Development Army (AND) army had carried out two "successful" operations against forces loyal to Mohamed Bacar's forces on March 9-10 and March 14-16.
    (AFP, 3/18/08)

2008        Mar 22, More than 500 African Union troops arrived on the Comoros island of Moheli to join local forces massed for a military offensive to retake the rebel island of Anjouan.
    (AFP, 3/22/08)
2008        Mar 22, The population of the Union of Comoros was about 840,000.
    (Econ, 3/22/08, p.55)

2008        Mar 25, Troops from the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Comoros seized control of the rebel island of Anjouan after a seaborne assault backed by the African Union.
    (Reuters, 3/25/08)

2008        Mar 27, Comorans staged angry anti-French protests as France decided whether to give ousted rebel leader Mohamed Bacar asylum after he fled to its Indian Ocean territory of Mayotte.
    (AP, 3/27/08)

2008        Mar 28, Mohamed Bacar, the rebel leader of the Comoros island of Anjouan, arrived in Reunion to an uncertain future, two days after his ouster by Comoran and African Union forces.
    (AP, 3/28/08)

2008        Jun 15, The Comoros isle of Anjouan went to the polls to elect a new president 3 months after rebel leader Mohamed Bacar was ousted by an African Union military force.
    (AFP, 6/15/08)

2009        Mar 29, The mostly Muslim Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, a territory of the Comoros archipelago, overwhelmingly voted to integrate fully with France, becoming the 101st department of France. The move will bring financial benefits to residents but also outlaw practices like polygamy and early marriages.
    (AP, 3/29/09)(SFC, 3/30/09, p.A2)(Reuters, 5/9/18)

2009        Jun 30, A Yemenia Airbus 310 jet with 153 people on board crashed into the Indian Ocean as it tried to land during strong winds on the island nation of Comoros. The passengers were on the last leg of a journey from Paris and Marseilles to Comoros with a stop in Yemen to change planes. Bahia Bakari (14), the only person to survive, was plucked from the sea after clinging to wreckage for 13 hours. Investigators on Aug 28 retrieved the slightly damaged flight data recorder and 10 more bodies from the Yemenia Airways flight. The voice recorder was recovered on Aug 29. On Nov 15, 2013, France charged Yemenia Airways with manslaughter over the crash.
    (AP, 6/30/09)(SFC, 7/2/09, p.A3)(AP, 8/29/09)(AFP, 1/29/14)

2011        Aug 9, A Comorian shuttle boat, the Madjiriha, sank killing 60 people off the coast of the Indian Ocean island nation the Comoros.
    (AP, 8/10/11)

2012        Jul 13, In the Comoros archipelago at least seven people died and six people were missing after a ship carrying illegal immigrants capsized overnight off the Indian Ocean French overseas territory of Mayotte.
    (AFP, 7/13/12)

2015        Feb 8, In the Comoros Islands Mohamed Said Abdallah Mchangama, a former finance minister, was arrested on charges of inciting hatred. Mchangama had called for a general strike in protest at the government's energy plans.
    (AP, 2/10/15)

2015        Jul 27, The US State Department took Malaysia and Cuba off its tier 3 list of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery, leaving the US open to criticism that politics is swaying the often-contentious rankings in its annual human trafficking report. Burundi, Belize, Belarus, Comoros and South Sudan were downgraded to Tier 3, where Thailand remained for a second year.
    (AP, 7/27/15)(Reuters, 7/27/15)

2016        Feb 21, The archipelago of the Comoros held its first round of presidential elections.
    (AFP, 2/24/16)

2016        Feb 23, Preliminary results showed the vice president of the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros, Mohamed Ali Soilihi, winning the first round of the country's presidential elections with 17.61 percent of the vote. He edged ahead of Mouigni Baraka, the governor of Grande Comore island, who garnered 15.09 percent, ahead of Colonel Azali Assoumani, who placed third with 14.96 percent. The three candidates will now face off in a second-round of voting on April 10, with the winner succeeding outgoing President Ikililou Dhoinine.
    (AFP, 2/24/16)

2016        Apr 10, The island nation of Comoros voted in a tense three-way presidential run-off election featuring the current VP Mohamed Ali Soilihi and former coup leader Azali Assoumani, who ruled the country for seven years. Assoumani took 40.98 percent of the nationwide vote, just ahead of Soilihi, the ruling party's presidential candidate, who picked up 39.87 percent.
    (AFP, 4/10/16)(AFP, 5/12/16)

2016        May 11, Former Comoros coup leader Azali Assoumani was elected as president, after last month's election led to a re-run at 13 polling stations due to violence and "irregularities".
    (AFP, 5/12/16)

2017        Dec, A Comoros parliamentary report was compiled accusing former presidents Ahmed Abdallah Sambi and Ikililou Dhoinine of involvement in systematic fraud and called for criminal action against the pair. They were suspected of embezzling millions of dollars from a scheme that sold passports to foreigners to finance development in the Indian Ocean island nation.
    (AFP, 4/10/18)

2018        May 9, The Indian Ocean state of Comoros hit back against France for suspending visas for its citizens, a further escalation in a diplomatic row linked to immigration and territorial disputes. The French embassy in Moroni, the capital of Comoros, decided on May 4 to suspend issuing visas to all Comorian nationals. It had earlier suspended visas for officials and services, after the Comorian government refused to receive, in its three islands, Comorians deported from Mayotte. In March 2009, Mayotte's people voted overwhelmingly to become a full-fledged part of France.
    (Reuters, 5/9/18)

2018        May 15, Authorities in Comoros questioned former president Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi over his role in a scheme to sell citizenship that investigators say was riddled with corrupt practice.
    (Reuters, 5/15/18)

2018        May 19, Comoros put former President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi (2006-2011) under house arrest just days after he was questioned over his role in a scheme to sell citizenship that investigators say was riddled with corrupt practice.
    (AP, 5/19/18)

2018        Jun 28, Comoros VP Ahmed Said Jaffar, who recently denounced President Azali Assoumani's plans for a constitutional referendum as "illegal", was stripped of most of his duties as part of a cabinet reshuffle.
    (AFP, 6/29/18)

2018        Jul 3, Comoros President Azali Assoumani and visiting Saudi interior minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef signed agreements worth $22 million to help finance water and road infrastructure in the poor Indian Ocean island nation.
    (AP, 7/4/18)

2018        Jul 22, Comoros vice-president Moustoidrane Abdou escaped an assassination attempt early today when his vehicle was fired on days before a controversial referendum on constitutional reform.
    (AP, 7/22/18)

2018        Jul 30, Comoros held a referendum to extend presidential term limits and end a system of rotating power among the archipelago's three main islands, moves the opposition calls a power grab by President Azali Assoumani. An electoral official said voters overwhelmingly backed the controversial constitutional reforms. The referendum was boycotted by the opposition.
    (Reuters, 7/30/18)(AFP, 7/31/18)

2018        Aug 2, Comoros Pres. Azali Assoumani said figures from the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), showed that 92.74 percent of voters picked "Yes" to change the constitution, while 7.26 percent chose "No" in the July 30 referendum. The yes vote allows Assoumani to run for two more five year-terms starting with an early election next year, rather than being required to step down when his present term ends in 2021. Opposition parties and civil society organizations grouped under the Peace in the Comoros umbrella group disputed the figures.
    (Reuters, 8/2/18)

2018        Aug 20, A Comoros court formally charged former president Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi with corruption and embezzling public funds in connection with a scheme to sell his country's passports.
    (Reuters, 8/21/18)

2018        Sep 7, Prosecutors in Comoros issued an international arrest warrant for Jaffar Ahmed Said Hassani, a former vice president, who opposed a series of constitutional reforms enabling President Azali Assoumani to extend his term in office.
    (AFP, 9/10/18)

2018        Oct 15, Protesters barricaded roads with tree trunks, stoned cars and clashed with soldiers in the Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros in demonstrations against President Azali Assoumani's bid to extend term limits.
    (Reuters, 10/15/18)

2018        Oct 19, The Comoros government and main opposition signed a deal that could end the latest bout of instability to rock the Indian Ocean nation after violence flared on Anjouan island.
    (AFP, 10/19/18)

2018        Oct 20, The Comoros military started an operation to disperse armed rebels who took control of Mutsamudu's old city center on the island of Anjouan earlier this week.
    (AFP, 10/20/18)

2018        Oct 21, Residents on the Comoros island of Anjouan slowly returned to their daily lives after a six-day siege in the old quarter of Mutsamudu city. The island's governor Abdou Salami Abdou, a member of the opposition Juwa party, surrendered to the police, but denied any links to the armed rebels.
    (AFP, 10/21/18)

2018        Dec 15, The security court in Comoros handed down life sentences with hard labor to four senior opposition figures and lengthy jail terms to several others for plotting against the state. Former vice-president Djaffar Said Ahmed Hassane, who has taken refuge in Tanzania, was among those sentenced to forced labor. Colonel Ibrahim Salim, a former head of the army, was one of those jailed.
    (AFP, 12/16/18)

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