The Comoros officially the Union of the Comoros is a sovereign, archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar. Other countries near to the Comoros are Tanzania to the northwest and the Seychelles to the northeast. The capital is Moroni on Grande Comore.
At 1,862 km (719 sq mi) (excluding Mayotte), the Comoros is the third-smallest African nation by area. The population (excluding Mayotte) is estimated at 798,000. Its name derives from the Arabic word قمر qamar ("moon"). The archipelago is notable for its diverse culture and history, as a nation formed at the crossroads of many civilizations. It is the southernmost member state of the Arab League. Though in the contested island of Mayotte the sole official language is French, the "Union of the Comoros" has three official languages: Comorian, Arabic, and French.
The country officially consists of the four major islands in the volcanic Comoros archipelago: northwesternmost Grande Comore or Ngazidja, Mohéli or Mwali, Anjouan or Nzwani, and southeasternmost Mayotte or Maore, as well as many smaller islands. However, the government of the Comoros (or its predecessors, since independence) has never administered the island of Mayotte, which France administers as an overseas department. Mayotte was the only island in the archipelago that voted against independence from France in 1974; the latter has vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions that would affirm Comorian sovereignty over the island. In addition, a 29 March 2009 referendum on Mayotte's becoming an overseas department of France in 2011 was passed overwhelmingly by the people of Mayotte.
The Comoros is the only state to be a member of all of the following: African Union, Francophonie, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Arab League, and Indian Ocean Commission