The three islands forming the present state became French protectorates at the end of the 19th century and were proclaimed colonies in 1912. With neighbouring Mayotte they were administratively attached to Madagascar from 1914 until 1947 when the four islands became a French Overseas Territory, achieving internal self-government in Dec. 1961. In referendums held on each island on 22 Dec. 1974, the three western islands voted overwhelmingly for independence, while Mayotte voted to remain French. There have been more than 20 coups or attempted takeovers since independence, with recent years being marked by political disruption. In 1997 the islands of Anjouan and Mohéli attempted to secede from the federation.
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- Ottenheimer, M. and Ottenheimer, H. J., Historical Dictionary of the Comoro Islands. Metuchen (NJ), 1994Google Scholar