Comoros - Country history and economic development

1841. France begins the process of occupation and colonization of the islands, which were formerly an autonomous sultanate.

1909. The islands are made a dependency of Madagascar (also a French colony).

1940. With France occupied by Germany, Britain assumes administration of the islands.

1946. Comoros is returned to France and granted administrative autonomy as an overseas territory.

1973. France agrees to independence within 5 years.

1974. In a special referendum, all of the islands except for Mayotte (which remains as a dependency of France) vote for independence.

1975. The Chamber of Deputies votes a unilateral declaration of independence and proclaims the Republic of Comoros, with Ahmed Abdallah as president.

1975. President Abdallah is overthrown in a coup led by French mercenary Bob Denard, who installs Ali Soilih, the leader of a 4-party coalition known as the National United Front (NUF).

1975. The National Assembly is dissolved.

1975. Island of Mayotte rejects union with Comoros in 2 referenda.

1975. French estates in Comoros are nationalized , and French officials are repatriated .

1976. Comoros joins the Franc Zone, with its currency fully convertible and pegged at a fixed rate to the French franc.

1978. Soilih is ousted in a coup led by Denard. Former president Ahmed Abdallah is installed as leader of the new government and is endorsed as president by an election. The band of 50 mercenaries, headed by Denard, forms a presidential guard and controls the administration. The mercenary presence infuriates other African nations, and Comoros is expelled from the Organization for African Unity (OAU). A new constitution is drafted and approved by 99 percent of the votes. Diplomatic relations with France are resumed. The newly elected Federal Assembly approves the formation of a one-party state. The mercenaries leave and OAU readmits Comoros.

1984. Abdallah is elected for a second 6-year term.

1989. Abdallah is assassinated. Said Muhammad Djohar is named interim president.

1990. Djohar is elected president.

1995. Djohar is ousted by a coup. An interim government rules until scheduled elections.

1996. The election is won by Taki Abdoulkarim's National Union for Democracy in Comoros (NUDC), and Taki is elected president. In May, Taki dissolves parliament and calls for new elections in October. The NUDC obtain 36 of the 43 seats at stake in the elections, which are boycotted by the opposition.

1997. In August, a secessionist movement headed by Abdallah Ibrahim calls for the independence of Anjouan Island.

1998. In March, over 99 percent of Anjouan citizens vote for independence in a referendum. Mohéli Island declares independence. Troops are sent to restore status quo (the normal order).

1998. President Taki dies amid rumors of a political assassination. An interim government is formed under Tadjidine Ben Said Massoude.

1999. Colonel Azali Assoumani takes power through a coup and imposes military rule.

2001. A new constitution and new national government are established.

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