Among the world’s least developed countries, Comoros is a group of four islands in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and northern Mozambique. The islands of Comoros are both one of the least populous and most densely populated countries in the world.
Lay of the Land: The Comoros consist of four volcanic islands–Grande Comore, Anjouan, Mayotte, and Mohéli–north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
The U.S. recognized the Comoron government in 1977 and maintains friendly relations. The U.S. closed its Moroni embassy in 1993 and is now represented in Comoros by a nonresident Ambassador in Madagascar.
Comoros is one of the poorest, most underdeveloped and most indebted nations in the world. A steady decline in political stability since the nation declared independence in 1975 has also caused a decline in living conditions and quality of life. According to international reports, incomes have been shrinking in real terms in the past several decades. According to the International Fund for Agricultura Development, poverty varies greatly depending on the area, being most severe in rural areas: 41.1% of rural inhabitants are poor, and 79% of the poor live in the countryside.
According to the U.S. State Department, in 2007, all three islands had problems with: poor prison conditions, restrictions on freedom of press and religion, official corruption, discrimination against women, child abuse, and child labor.
Note: The United States established diplomatic relations with the Comoros on Aug 15, 1977, when Robert S. Barrett IV, was appointed Chargé d'Affaires ad interim. Barrett was resident at Antananarivo.
The Indian Ocean nation of Comoros, a group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and Mozambique, sent a new ambassador to the U.S. in September 2012. Roubani Kaambi presented his credentials to President Obama on September 19, succeeding Mohamed Toihiri, who had served as Comoran ambassador since September 6, 2007. Kaambi is concurrently accredited as permanent representative to the United Nations in New York and as ambassador to Canada and to Cuba. Comoros has a population of about 800,000.
Born on December 10, 1955, in Mistoudjé, Grande Comore, Kaambi earned his BA at the Lycée Said Mohamed Cheikh in the Comoran capital of Moroni, and postgraduate degrees in Public Law, and in History, Culture and Social Organization, from the University of Strasbourg in France. He is also a graduate of the National School of Public Administration of Morocco.
Kaambi served as minister for Justice and government spokesman in 1993, with responsibilities for labor and employment as well. In 1994, he was chief of staff to Prime Minister Mohamed Abdou Madi, secretary general of the government, and president of the Support Commission for Institutional Reform in Public Administration.
An educator, Kaambi taught high school philosophy in Moroni and in Mitsamihouli from 1995 to 2003, and was a law professor at the University of Comoros from 2006 to 2011. Kaambi is also the Diplomatic High Steward of EUCLID (Euclid University), an international intergovernmental organization with a university charter established in 2008.
From 2003 to 2004, Kaambi was the government’s adviser on relations with ministerial secretaries general, later taking up the presidency of the Forum of Secretaries General, an institution responsible for preparing and evaluating technical and administrative government action. He was the communications adviser to President Azali Assoumani from 2004 to 2006.
Kaambi is married and has four children.
Comoros’ Embassy in the U.S.
As a career diplomat with more than three decades of involvement in international affairs, Mary Jo Wills was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Ambassador to Mauritius and the Seychelles in December of 2009.