Monday, December 05, 2016


In 1960, South Africa had it's SAxit Referendum. 3 of 4 provinces favoured dropping Queen Elizabeth as the Head of State and becoming a republic (56% leave). In 1974, the four islands of the Comoros had a referendum on independence from France. Three voted to leave. The dissenting areas faced different outcomes. Natal, in South Africa with 76% remain was forced to leave. Mayotte, in the Comoros, with 63% remain held out. The Comoros has repeatedly pressed its claim with the United Nations General Assembly citing 'territorial integrity' on decolonisation. Scotland, in the recent EU Brexit referendum, was 62% Remain.

For the Comoros, Independence came for the three island nation in 1975, but it is a land defined by a mixture of arriving societies. Bantu Speaking explorers from the left, Arab explorers from above, Austronesian explorers from the right, and eventually, European explorers from below. With about 800,000 people, it is as densely populated as the Netherlands. 98% of the population are Sunni Islam with Arabic a widely spoken second language, French the administrative language, and Comorian, related to Swahili, the most common tongue.

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