Mayotte: some dams still active despite continued announcements to ease tensions

The Minister Delegate for Overseas Marie Guévenoux received elected officials from Mahor on Monday February 19 to try to ease the crisis shaking the 101st French department. For five weeks, some residents have denounced insecurity through blockades and blockades, the violence of which has transformed the lives of many residents. 

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A young boy walks on a street during a citizen patrol organized by residents to ensure security in the Kaweni district of Mamoudzou, on the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, February 18, 2024. © Julien de Rosa / AFP

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With our special correspondent in Mamoudzou,

Lola Fourmy

Zalia is 32 years old and is a school counselor in Mtsapéré. An attack transformed the life of this Mahoraise's family: “ 

My husband, four years ago, was on a scooter and was stopped by a group of young people who wanted to steal his scooter. He cooperated, he let them have the scooter, but they didn't just take it. They first beat my husband and unfortunately where he bled we can't operate on him because it's a very dangerous area. Since then, he has had epileptic seizures.


To be treated, her husband had to leave the island, heading to mainland France to find a neurologist, because insecurity is making the island's medical desert even worse. “ 

All this insecurity brings a lot of other things behind it

. Nobody wants to come here, even the doctors.


In Mayotte, in 2018, 7% of people had suffered a violent theft, ten times more than in mainland France.

Abdallah was threatened directly: “ 

As part of my duties, I was attacked, I saw death in the face when the vehicle I was driving was burned, I saw the engineer I was driving burn. had brought, I saw the end of my life coming.


In Mayotte, nearly 50% of residents say they feel insecure, according to the latest figures from INSEE. There are also few who file complaints, claiming that it would be useless, or for fear of reprisals.

While the Minister for Overseas Territories Marie Guévenoux notably announced the launch in the coming days

of Operation Wuambushu 2

, she did not however announce the establishment of a state of emergency as

requested by the roadblockers

. Some


 are therefore still in place

on the island for the fifth consecutive week. For certain filters, they are installed in the four corners of the island and limit the movement of students or workers.

Many abandoned dams 

Other dams are left abandoned. The latter complicate the task of garbage collectors, who can no longer collect the usual 200 tonnes of waste per day.

The roadblocks generally allowed the population to circulate on Monday, motorists were also confronted with walls in certain places, such as in Combani. The roadblock “ 

was open a few minutes ago, when I was passing in the other direction. But when I got there, I found it closed. There are vehicle carcasses that are quite heavy to move and we cannot easily free them

 .” Despite everything, this resident continues to support the movement: “ 

That way, we are talking about the subject in question for once, but we would benefit from improving the organization

. »

Example of this dam that no one manages. This exasperates this Sidevam agent, who collects the waste and finds himself stuck: “ 

there aren't even the roadblockers, there are no people, nothing. For example, if there is an accident somewhere and the ambulance wants to go, the firefighters or the Samu, where do they go?


Cavani stadium soon to be evacuated

Finally, another collection truck will reopen the road, using its crane to remove the car wrecks. In the meantime, waste collection has fallen behind schedule: “ 

there is lots of rubbish everywhere, even household waste is on the national highway. 

» Sidevam announced that it will take between two and four weeks before a return to normal with regard to waste... but this once the dams are completely lifted.

One of the demands of the roadblockers concerned the Cavani stadium, where hundreds of African asylum seekers are based in Mamoudzou. An operation is planned “

in the coming days

”, the Overseas Ministry announced on Monday. “

The operation to evacuate the Cavani stadium will be carried out in the coming days to respond to the concerns of the territory

”, indicated the ministry in a press release, following a meeting on Monday between the Minister Delegate in charge of Overseas Territories. , Marie Guévenoux and several elected officials from Mayotte.  


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