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    Archipelago in the Indian Ocean
    Islands located 15-30 miles off the coast of mainland Tanzania
    Largest islands are Unguja and Pemba
    Area: 950 square miles
    Population (2012 census): 1,303,569
    Capital: Zanzibar City on Unguja
    Portuguese possession (1503-1698)
    Part of the Sultanate of Oman (1698-1856)
    Independent sultanate (1856-90)
    British protectorate (1890-1963)
    Became an independent country (December 10, 1963)
    Merged with Tanganyika (April 26, 1964)
    Has since been a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania
    Until the late 19th century, it was a major center of the slave trade.
    It was on the losing end of the world’s shortest war, the 38-minute Anglo-Zanzibar War (9:02-9:40 AM, August 27, 1896).
    During the revolt that overthrew the sultan (January 12, 1964), thousands of Arab civilians were murdered by African revolutionaries.
    It lasted only five months as an independent country.
    Disputed elections resulted in violent protests in 2001 (35 people killed) and 2005 (9 killed).
    It became an important trading center on the Indian Ocean due to having a protected and easily defended harbor at Zanzibar City.
    It produces spices, including cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper.
    It was the first location in Sub-Saharan Africa to broadcast TV in color (1973).
    Freddie Mercury was born here.
    Zanzibar City’s historic center, Stone Town, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Credit: C. Fishel

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