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Autonomous Island of Mohéli
Île Autonome de Mohéli
The Comoros islands. Mohéli is the lowermost shown.
The Comoros islands. Mohéli is the lowermost shown.
and largest city
Official languages
Government Autonomous island
 -  President Mohamed Ali Said
 -  Total 211 km2
81 sq mi
 -  Water (%) negligible
 -  2006 estimate 38,000
 -  2003 census 35,400
Currency Comorian franc (KMF)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Calling code +269
Internet TLD .km
a. Shimwali dialect.

Mohéli, also known as Mwali, is one of the three islands which make up the nation of Comoros.


  • Location 1
  • Population 2
  • Capital 3
  • Ethnic groups 4
  • History 5
    • Comoros 5.1
    • Independence 5.2
    • Rejoining Comoros 5.3
  • Protected areas 6
  • See also 7


Mohéli is located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is by far the smallest of the Comoros islands.


Its population, as of 2006, is about 38,000.


Its capital city is Fomboni.

Ethnic groups

Its main ethnic group, as on the other Comoros islands Grande Comore and Anjouan as well as the French territory Mayotte, is the Comorian ethnic group, a synthesis of Bantu, Arab, Malay and Malagasy culture, and the main religion is Sunni Islam.


Map of Mohéli.
Separatist flag.
Flag of the Sultanate between 1891 and 1904.

Until 1830, Mohéli was part of the Ndzuwenie Sultanate, which also controlled the neighnouring island of Anjouan. In 1830, migrants from Madagascar led by Ramanetaka, who later changed his name to Abderemane, took over the island and established the sultanate of Mwali. In 1886, France made the island a protectorate.

Until 1889, Mwali had its own French resident, but the island was then subjugated to the residency of Anjouan. The sultanate was crushed in 1909 when the French annexed the island. French colonial stamps inscribed Mohéli were issued from 1906 to 1912.


In 1975, Mohéli agreed to join the Comoros nation, along with Grande Comore and Anjouan. Political, economic and social turmoil affected Mohéli and the Comoros in general.


On 11 August 1997, Mohéli seceded from the Comoros, a week after Anjouan. Mohéli's secessionist leaders were Said Mohamed Soefu who became President, and Soidri Ahmed, who became Prime Minister.

Rejoining Comoros

Mohéli quietly rejoined Comoros in 1998. In 2002, Mohéli ratified the new Comorian constitution, which provided for a less centralized federal government and more power to the island governments. It helped settle continuing political turmoil on Comoros and continuing secessionism on Anjouan.

Also in 2002, Mohamed Said Fazul was elected President. His supporters won most seats in Mohéli's delegation to Parliament in the legislative elections of 2004.

Protected areas

Postage stamps were issued for Mohéli briefly under French rule; this two-centime value dates from 1906.

On 19 April 2001, the first protected area in this country – Mohéli Marine Park – was gazetted. This was the culmination of a unique process by which the local communities in the ten villages around the park boundaries negotiated a collaborative arrangement with the government for the establishment and management of the park.

Not surprisingly therefore, the marine park programme was among the 27 finalists selected from nearly 500 nominations by the Equator Initiative, a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), IUCN, the UN Foundation and four other international groups, to promote community-based initiatives aimed at furthering sustainable development.

See also

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