Anjouan #4 (1892)

Anjouan #4 (1892)

Anjouan #4 (1892)

Anjouan is the easternmost of the Comoro Islands (Shikomori Komori in the Comorian language, جزر القمر ‎‎or Juzur al-Qamar in Arabic, Les Comores in French), an archipelago of volcanic islands off the south-east coast of Africa, to the east of Mozambique and north-west of Madagascar.  The island is also known as Ndzuwani or Nzwani, and its chief town is Mutsamudu. The total area of the island is 424 square kilometers (163 square miles).  The first inhabitants of the island were explorers and immigrants from Indonesia and Polynesia. After that people all around the Indian Ocean began to come to Anjouan and the Comoro Islands. The Sultanate of Ndzuwani was established on the island in the 1500s.   In 1816, Sultan Alawi bin Husein requested French assistance against the Sultanate of Zanzibar which was threatening his domain. The island came under French protection in 1886. France abolished slavery in then-Ndzuwani in 1899, and formally annexed it in 1912. Anjouan joined the State of Comoros when it became independent in 1975.

In 1997, the islands of Anjouan and Mohéli seceded from the Comoros. On August 3, 1997, Anjouan declared itself the independent State of Anjouan (État d’Anjouan).  The island asked to be integrated again into the French Republic; but France refused.  The government was overthrown in a coup by army and navy officers on August 9, 2001. The island was reunified with Comoros in 2002 and a new Union of the Comoros constitution mandated the election of a President of Anjouan along with presidents for the other two autonomous islands and a President of the Union.  In July 2007, Mohamed Bacar once again declared the island of Anjouan to be independent of the Comoros.  The Union opted for a military solution and the invasion of Anjouan began on the evening of March 24, 2008.  Mohamed Bacar managed to escape to Mayotte by March 26th to seek political asylum. He was subsequently held in custody there by the French administration and brought to the island of Réunion, where he was charged for entering French territory illegally and possession of weapons.  Presidential elections were held in August of that year and the current movement seeks a reunification with the Union of Comoros.

Stamps were issued for Anjouan only for a brief period beginning with the release in 1892 of  13 denominations in the French omnibus Navigation and Commerce series inscribed SULTANAT / D’ANJOUAN.  Four additional stamps in this series with changes of color were issued in 1900, and a new denomination was added in both 1906 and 1907.  Eleven stamps were surcharged and released in 1912.  There are a few specialized varieties of these, mainly differences in the spacing of the numerals.  In 1914, the stamps of Anjouan were superseded by those of Madagascar and, in 1950, by stamps of the Comoro Islands.  Scott #4 is denominated at 5 centimes, green on greenish paper with the name inscription in carmine.  It was printed by typography on unwatermarked paper and perforated 14×13½.

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