In Mayotte, the population barricades itself and the State promises new measures

Tuesday evening, November 22, in the streets of Mamoudzou, the capital of Mayotte, the sound of detonations, furious cries and the fire of burnt cars gave way to an unusual void. Nightfall is synonymous with a bit of freshness, which the inhabitants gladly take advantage of in the public space.

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However, after several days of extreme attacks between gangs, the population of the archipelago barricaded themselves and the young aggressors took refuge, facing the RAID that the government had just sent as reinforcements. Police and gendarmes confirm: “RAS”. “They are waiting for the RAID to be gone to start again”, we quip in Kawéni, a neighborhood at the center of the brutality that has rocked the island, the past two weeks having been marked by machete attacks on school buses. A break, therefore, in a cycle that seems endless.

The chronic insecurity suffered by the poorest department of France (300,000 registered inhabitants), in the Indian Ocean, is suddenly brought to the attention of Paris. “Faced with this phenomenon, we will first have a security response as soon as possible. Then from [la] cooperation, but with great force [sur l’immigration clandestine avec les Comores]. And, thirdly, we must continue the in-depth reform work on Mayotte, because today our situation, our rules, must be adapted to the reality on the ground.assured Wednesday Emmanuel Macron, visiting the mayors’ lounge, Porte de Versailles, in Paris.

Overseas elected officials, who are participating in the 104th congress of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) opened on Monday, have been expressing their anger for several days at the general deterioration of the security situation in their territories. On the subject, the Mahorais are on the front line. A delegation had already made the round trip to the capital to sound the alarm on October 18.

“Out of control” situation

“I denounced the crisis situation in 2016”also regrets the deputy (LR) Mansour Kamardine. “Means have been committed, but we must go further, stronger and faster, in particular on the specific law that was promised on immigration to Mayotte, because in our country, we must agree to link the two problems. » In February and March 2018, a “dead island” movement denounced the violence between gangs. Since then, self-defense groups have emerged, heightening the concerns of politicians.

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“The Mahorais need the protection of the State”, replied Tuesday to the National Assembly the Minister of the Interior and Overseas, Gérald Darmanin, questioned by the deputy Estelle Youssouffa (group Freedoms, independents, overseas and territories). The Minister, who had already announced staff in September, promises mobile gendarmes for “a large-scale operation” and a “very significant reinforcement of the means of justice”. He also indicated that the programming law of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, after 2024, would provide for military means for Guyana and Mayotte.

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