The Indian Ocean Island of Mayotte owned by France has been experiencing ongoing restlessness due to a multitude of migrants from neighboring islands. The immigrants have fuelled unrest and have been the cause of constrained public services such as health and food. The French government is trying to cool down the feud that has been taking place for weeks to no avail. On Monday, a cabinet minister guaranteed a response to the complaints issued. These included increased criminal activity and an invasion by migrants from the neighboring African islands. This inflow of outsiders is the primary reason for the stiff public provisions.

Mayotte, which is topographically a part of the Comoros archipelago off South East Africa, is an island with approximately 250,000 inhabitants. Since mid-February, the island has been experiencing difficult times. The hatred towards the migrants is presumed to have started when conflicting gangs were involved in distraught skirmishes at a school. Residents of the Island reproach the non-French incomers on the rising level of insecurity. In a bid to catch the attention of the government of France, the island has been involved in acts of public action such as blocking roads, strikes, and demonstrations. This comes after the Island had been involved in a voting process in 2009 to become a complete part of France.

On her visit to the main Island of Grande-Terre, there was heckling towards Annick Girardin who is the minister in-charge for overseas territories. Nonetheless, she issued more immigration patrols and more police help. Before Annick’s visit to the island, the government had warranted to deal with and curb incidences where expectant women would pop into the island with the intent of giving birth on French soil. This was with the intention that their children would obtain EU and French citizenships. In line with an official statement, about 70% of the approximate 10,000 babies inbred in the hospital in Mamoudzou are not legal migrants. Mamoudzou is the most significant town in Mayotte. The unwarranted outsiders are mainly from close-by islands of Mohali, Grande, and Anjouan.
The French government has given a thought on placing an extraterritorial status program in the Mayotte hospital to prevent a direct acquisition of citizenship by the newborns.

Comoros was a French territory until 1975 when it acquired independence from the colony. It is one of the most impoverished states of the world. Nonetheless, it chose to be part of France first as an outside entity and then afterward as complete. However, the disputed streaming of immigrants into states has not only affected Mayotte but other countries such as French Guiana, between Brazil and Surinam in South America. The same concerns such as the strife for resources has been felt too due to immigrants from Haiti and adjacent countries.

Haley Thompson

About Haley Thompson

Haley is a journalist with over 10 years of experience in the field. She has held many editorial roles at a number of high-profile publishers – both offline as well as online.

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