Coordinates: 12°10′S 44°15′E / 12.167°S 44.250°E / -12.167; 44.250
The Comoros (i/ˈkɒməroʊz/; Arabic: جزر القمر, Juzur al-Qumur / Qamar), officially the Union of the Comoros (Comorian: Udzima wa Komori, French: Union des Comores, Arabic: الاتحاد القمري al-Ittiḥād al-Qumurī / Qamarī), is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar. Other countries near the Comoros are Tanzania to the northwest and the Seychelles to the northeast. Its capital is Moroni, on Grande Comore.
At 1,660 km2 (640 sq mi), excluding the contested island of Mayotte, the Comoros is the third-smallest African nation by area. The population, excluding Mayotte, is estimated at 798,000. As a nation formed at a crossroads of different civilizations, the archipelago is noted for its diverse culture and history.
The archipelago was first inhabited by Bantu speakers who came from East Africa, supplemented by Arab and Austronesian immigration. It became a French colony in the 19th century before becoming independent in 1975. Since independence the country has experienced numerous coups d'état.