immigration, poverty… The disappointed hopes of departmentalization

Demonstrators, sheltered behind garbage cans, throw stones at the police forces on November 1 in the Kaweni district of Mamoudzou. Mayotte Hebdo/ABACAPRESS.COM

DECRYPTION – A decade later, the joy of the inhabitants of the Indian Ocean archipelago has given way to anger.

“Security”, “equality” and anchoring in France opposite the neighboring Comoros… The accession of Mayotte to the status of department, in 2011, raised the hopes of its inhabitants, French since 1841. With the decisive support of Nicolas Sarkozy, who at the time intended “keep the promise made to the Mahorais”.

A decade later, the happiness of the Mahorais has given way to anger. The inhabitants of the Indian Ocean archipelago are living in an explosive situation, as shown by the wave of violence in recent days. Matches with machetes between young people from rival neighborhoods, record poverty, schools and hospitals saturated in the face of the demographic explosion, recurrent water and electricity cuts… Plunged into a permanent state of emergencythe children of the “ticklers” – named after the historical activists of “Mayotte department” – have lost their illusions.

Despite the delays in the economic and social “catching up” announced, departmentalization has strengthened the archipelago as a pole of attraction…

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