Mayotte is an island in the French overseas department in the
Indian Ocean. Geographically it belongs to the Comoros.
The Islamic island of Mayotte has beautiful beaches with white sand and crystal clear water. These beaches are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing. The underwater world off the coast is rich in coral reefs and a variety of marine animals. The island also offers beautiful scenery with volcanoes, tropical forests and waterfalls.
The island combines Arabic, Indian, European, Malagasy and East
History: Early settlement: The first inhabitants of Mayotte were probably Malay and Indonesian sailors who settled the islands in the Indian Ocean. Arabic and African influences were added later.
Arab rule: The islands were visited by Arab traders and sailors in the Middle Ages and were under their influence. This led to the spread of Islam in Mayotte.
European Discovery: In the 16th century, European sailors, including the Portuguese and French, discovered the islands of Mayotte.
Colonial Era: In the 19th century, the islands became a French protectorate. Mayotte became an important trading center used to supply the French colonies in the region.
Post-colonial history: After the end of the Second World War, Mayotte became an overseas territory of France and has retained this status to this day. However, the islands also have a close connection with the neighboring Comoros, being historically and geographically part of the Comoros archipelago group.
Referendum and status: In recent decades there have been unrest and political discussions about Mayotte's political status. In 1976, in a referendum, the majority of the population chose to remain a French overseas territory, while the other islands of the Comoros archipelago sought independence from France.
Landforms: The island is surrounded by an extensive coral reef that offers excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. A large lagoon formed by coral reefs is home to a rich marine fauna. The mangrove forests along the coast are important ecosystems and breeding grounds for marine animals. Sandy beaches and coconut palms invite you to relax and do water sports. Mayotte has mountains and hills that reward hikers with breathtaking views. Some areas have volcanic formations, and the jungle with its diverse vegetation is home to a rich biodiversity.
Population structure: With over 270,000 inhabitants, the country is very densely populated and ethnically diverse. The population is made up of Comorians, Malagasy, Afro-Malagasy and people of European and Asian descent. The predominant religion is Islam, the official languages are French and Mahori. Despite challenges such as poverty and inadequate infrastructure, Mayotte maintains traditional African and Arabic influences in the way of life.
Flora and Fauna: The vegetation consists of a variety of plant species including tropical rainforests, mangroves, palm trees and bamboo. At higher altitudes, dense forests with various tree species dominate. The coastal regions are surrounded by mangrove forests, which play an important role in the ecosystem and provide habitat for various animal species. Connoisseurs distinguish 50 wild orchid species.
The fauna of Mayotte is diverse and includes both native and introduced species. The waters around Mayotte and especially the reefs off the coast are among the most biodiverse and best preserved in the Indian Ocean. Sperm whales can be seen in the lagoon from July to September.
The association Les Naturalistes de Mayotte (tel. +262269630481) offers good general information about the island's nature and flora.
1 Grande Terre . Grande-Terre is the largest of Mayotte's two main
islands. The capital, Mamoudzou, is located on this island. Grande-Terre
is known for its beaches, lagoons and diverse landscapes.
2 Petite Terre (Pamanzi) . Petite-Terre is the smaller of Mayotte's two main islands and lies southeast of Grande-Terre. Dzaoudzi, the former capital of Mayotte, and Mayotte International Airport are located on Petite-Terre. This island is also known for its natural beauty and coastal landscapes.
There are also a few small uninhabited islands.
1 Mamoudzou. It is the largest city and the capital of Mayotte. Here
you will find markets, shops and restaurants where you can enjoy local
cuisine. The town center is lively and offers a glimpse into daily life
on the island.
2 Dzaoudzi. It is the second largest city on Petite-Terre, one of the two main islands of Mayotte. There are a variety of historical buildings here, including the ancient fortress of Dzaoudzi, which now houses a museum. The city also offers access to Mayotte International Airport. From here the ferries commute to Grand-Terre.
3 Sada. Sada is known for its picturesque coastal location with beautiful beaches and coves.
4 Bandrélé (Bandrele) . It is a coastal town on the west coast of Grande-Terre and offers beautiful beaches and picturesque bays. This place is a popular destination for water sports such as diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
5 Koungou. This place is located in the north of Grande-Terre and is known for its beautiful beach and clear water. It's a great place to relax, swim and enjoy nature.
6 Chirongui. It is a location on the south coast of Grande-Terre and offers abundant wildlife and some scenic hiking trails. The city is also known for its fishing community and fish market.
1 Mayotte Marine Natural Park. This marine park stretches along the
western coast of Grande-Terre and is known for its impressive coral
reefs and diversity of marine life. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling,
diving and boat rides to explore the rich underwater world.
2 Mont Choungui. This mountain in the south of Grande-Terre is a popular hiking destination. The fairly steep, strenuous climb to the summit rewards hikers with good views of the island and the surrounding ocean. Mont Choungui is a former volcanic vent and has a height of 594 meters. This gives the mountain a striking cone shape that can be seen from anywhere in the south.
3 Le jardin d'imany. At the Guerlain plantation you can admire the ylang-ylang plants and also visit the famous perfumer's house surrounded by a lush garden.
4 Botanical Garden. Beautiful gardens with a majority of trees and almost no flowers, including ylang ylang trees next to the reception office, which are in full bloom from August to October. Entry is free.
5 Combani Forest (Réserve Forestière de Songoro Mbili). This forest near Mamoudzou is a popular bird watching destination. Here you can find a variety of bird species, including rare endemic species of Mayotte.
6 Dziani Dzaha crater lake. The emerald green lake with its overgrown rock walls is a magical sight in the right light, but it's best appreciated from a distance - the water contains sulfur and can easily make you sick.
7 Monts Bénara Forest Reserve (mont Bénara) . Ideal places for hiking with good views of the south of Mayotte.
8 Soulou Waterfall (Cascade de Soulou). Beautiful waterfall accessible from the parking lot via a small, well-maintained path.
9 mangroves from Bouyouni (Mangrove de bouyouni). Here you can see the mangroves as you walk along the coast between Bouéni and N'gouja.
10 Governor's House (Maison du gouverneur). The house of the last governor of Mayotte is now a lost place in the middle of wonderful nature. The hike to the house is beautiful and easy, each route takes an hour and a half. The journey can also be the destination.
11 Former sugar factory (Carrefour de Soulou). The best-preserved former sugar factory in Mayotte, now a lost place. The old master's house can be reached from the street via corridors that lead up the hill towards Faré. The mangroves and the beach with the old stone access for boats are just a few hundred meters away.
12 Office de Tourisme (in front of the market hall at the ferry pier). Tel: +262269610909. Open: weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The overseas department is an integral part of France. This means
there is freedom of establishment for EU citizens. However, it is not
part of the Schengen area, so certain non-EFTA citizens need a visa,
even if they are allowed to enter the Schengen area without a visa.
Dzaoudzi-Pamandzi Airport (aéroport de Dzaoudzi-Pamandzi, IATA: DZA) . There are daily flights to Mayotte from France via Réunion. Naturally, all European flights go via Paris. The cost of a return flight ticket is, in the best case, 800 euros (depending on the season, significantly more, especially during the French holidays).infoedit
The regional airline EWA Air is based here. Air Austral is also represented. Anyone who wants to go to the Comoros or further to Madagascar can, with little effort, combine attractive routes in terms of time and price that do not go via continental Africa but cannot be found in internet portals.
The main port is also in Dzaoudzi. SGTM (tel. +262 (0) 269 61 20 69) operates ferries to the Comoros islands of Anjouan and Grande Comore, which are not exactly cheap. Anyone who gets seasick easily should avoid ships in the “stormy months” of July and August.
Sports sailors can register at the Capitainerie du Port in Mamoudzou. Things are easier at the ACHM yacht club near Dzaoudzi. Once you have received your papers there, you clear customs and border police at the nearby airport. You always have to deregister in Mamoudzou.
Shared taxis (“taxi brousse”) operate on the island. There is a regular ferry service (approx. every 15-30 minutes) between the islands of Petite Terre and the Gare Maritime of Mamoudzou on Grande Terre.
Although French is the official language, it is only spoken by 35% of the residents. However, Mahorian is predominantly spoken. Mahorian is a variant of Comorian, which in turn is related to Swahili.
98% of Comorian residents are Muslims. During the four weeks of the
fasting month (from March 10, 2024) there will therefore be less opening
during the day.
The cost of living corresponds to that in France, but the quality offered is significantly lower. Many foods are imported, often from France, which sometimes leads to very high prices. The local supermarket chain with several branches is Sodifram. Smaller offshoots are called Sodicash.
Mamoudzou market hall (Marché Couvert; near the ferry pier).
In addition to the typical Comorian dishes, there is of course good
French food, partly creolized in "fusion" with Indian influences. If you
like eating fish, you'll get your money's worth. Although a more relaxed
form of Islam is practiced on the island, Ramadan is observed.
Therefore, it can happen that restaurants are closed during the day
because there are simply no customers.
The tourist information website has a directory of tourist restaurants.
Mayotte prepares a variety of native dishes and local variations of French, African, Malagasy and Arabic dishes.
Bouillon de Poissons: This is a fish soup often made with different types of fish and seafood. It is seasoned with spices, herbs and coconut milk.
Cari Poisson: A fish curry where pieces of fish are cooked in a spicy curry sauce. It is often served with rice.
Poulet Coco: Chicken cooked in coconut milk, often seasoned with spices such as ginger, turmeric and garlic.
Rougail: A spicy dish made from tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices, often served with fish or chicken.
Civet de tangue: A stew made from civet, a native animal, prepared with spices and vegetables.
Langouste à la Vanille: Langousts prepared in a vanilla sauce, a dish that shows the influence of French cuisine.
Mataba: A flatbread served with a filling of fish or meat.
Rougaï Sounouk: A dish of stuffed peppers or eggplants with a mixture of minced meat and rice.
Biryani: An Indian rice dish prepared with various spices and meats such as chicken or beef.
Brochettes: Grilled skewers of meat, fish or seafood, often marinated and seasoned.
Kabab Comorien: Spiced meat skewers often served with a spicy sauce.
Boko-Boko: A dish of beef, vegetables and plantains cooked in a spicy sauce.
Mgouaza: A type of pancake made with coconut milk and often served with honey or fruit.
Nightlife on Mayotte is rather limited compared to some other holiday destinations as the island is not known for extensive nightlife. There are a few restaurants and bars, occasional cultural events, beach parties and a few discos, but nightlife usually ends early.
Golf Club les Ylangs (CCD 1, Combani; approx. 20km from Mamoudzou). Open: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Be careful when diving and snorkeling. Before entering the water, you
need to assess the weather and sea conditions. If snorkeling conditions
deteriorate, it is better to postpone the snorkeling trip or choose
another location. You should find out about local regulations on site,
such as restricted areas, protected species, dangerous species, diving
Turtle watching: the best beaches for watching are: Plage Gouéla, Tahiti Plage,
Diving schools: there are a large number of them in almost every coastal town, but there are especially many in the main town.
1 Passe en S . The Longogori area, also known as "Passe en S", is a remarkable diving area located north of the Islote de Sable Blanc. An S-shaped cut - once a river - interrupts the coral reef here. This area has been a protected marine reserve since 1990. It offers the best diving experience in Mayotte with 13 dive sites between lagoon and sea. Of course you can also snorkel here. By the way, the local corals are among the best preserved in the world. In addition, the flora and fauna on Mayotte are still intact.
There is a relaxed dress code on the beaches of Mayotte, even though
it is a Muslim country. Swimwear such as swimsuits, bikinis or swimming
trunks can be worn on the beach. However, it is recommended to ensure
that the swimwear is not too skimpy or provocative, as this may cause
negative reactions. Nudism and toplessness are frowned upon.
Plage de N'Gouja. This beach in southern Mayotte is famous for its turtle watching opportunities and clear, turquoise waters.
Plage de Moya. A picturesque beach in northwest Mayotte with white sand and a relaxed atmosphere.
Plage de Saziley. Another beautiful beach in the south of Mayotte, surrounded by rocky cliffs and offering a great snorkeling experience.
Plage de Papani. A secluded beach on Mayotte's north coast with beautiful views and deep blue waters.
Plage de Trevani. This beach in northwest Mayotte is a popular spot for water sports such as kite surfing and snorkeling.
Plage de Mtsamboro. Another picturesque beach in the north of Mayotte, lined with coconut trees and ideal for relaxing.
Plage de Sakouli. A beach on the west coast of Mayotte with golden sand and numerous water sports options.
Plage de N'Gouja. The most beautiful beach in Mayotte with golden sand, lined with baobabs and lush vegetation. The water is mostly calm and the reef is particularly rich in species and well preserved. It is known as an exceptional place to observe sea turtles (especially green turtles, but also hawksbill turtles), which feed on sea grass and lay their eggs on the beach. From the main road on the hill there is a path leading down to a car park just behind the beach. There is no public transport, but shared taxis. You can go into the water anywhere on the beach, but at low tide and to protect the seaweed you should go over the old jetty, which is opposite the entrance to the car park. On the beach you should be careful not to step on turtle nests (there are usually signs posted).
The snorkeling area covers a large area between the beach and the reef drop, approximately 200m away. From the beach you cross a few dozen meters of seagrass (↕1-2m), then the seabed is covered with corals (↕1-3m) up to the reef drop (↕10m).
At high tide, green sea turtles feed on sea grass, sometimes just a few meters from the beach. Despite the shallow water depth, you can easily get close to the turtles and observe them. At low tide the turtles retreat along the cliffs towards the reef. Here the turtles are more shy, but the water (clearer than on the beach) and the abundance of corals and fish make it an ideal place for photography.
Although turtle watching is the main attraction at N'Gouja Beach, there is more to see. Along an approximately ten meter long strip of sloping reef (↕62-6m), the seabed is exceptional: hundreds of damselfish hiding in Acropora colonies, clownfish in their anemones, schools of surgeonfish, angelfish - the biodiversity is endless.
Plague Tahiti. Beautiful beach with beautiful views and restaurants nearby. The beach is very busy, both on weekends for the traditional "woulé" (picnic on the beach) and during the week for the sunset. There is a small café between the street and the beach. In the village of Sada, 2km north of Tahiti Plage, there is a fairly large selection of food. The beach is about 30 meters from the main road and is well signposted ("Tahiti Plage").
Tahiti Beach has the same underwater features as the better-known N'Gouja Beach, but is much quieter. The reef is rich in life and well preserved, green sea turtles are commonly seen. You can go into the water anywhere along the sandy beach. At low tide you have to weave your way through the corals to reach the reef. The water depth is shallow.
The interesting snorkeling area extends over a large area between the beach and the reef slope, about 200 meters away. From the beach you cross a few dozen meters of sand (↕1-2m), then the seabed is covered with corals (↕1-3m) up to the reef slope (↕10m). Although you can see some interesting fish species on the shallow reef (colorful six-banded wrasses, pairs of melon butterflyfish...), things get better as you get closer to the reef drop. The seabed here is spectacular.
Plage du Prefet. Beautiful beach accessible after a short hike with crystal clear water and turtles that can be seen every now and then.
The tourist information website has a list of medium and upscale
hotels under "hébergement". The hotels on Mayotte are rather small and
do not have the standard of e.g. Mauritius.
1 Camping de Musicale Plage. Tel: +262639652727. very simple campsite.
2 Isijiva, r. Mandzarsoa, Mtsapere. Tel: +262269614523.
3 Hotel Le Rocher, Dzaoudzi. Tel: +262269601010. Very nice hotel with a well-kept exotic character. And clean.
4 Gîte du Mont Combani. The property is located on the edge of a protected rainforest amidst lush vegetation.
5 Rose Doudou, Quartier Convalescence, Route de Majimbin.
6 Mang'Appart, 3, rue Markera Moussa Nguessou Mangajou, Sada. Tel: +262639407119.
7 Hotel Maharajah Mayotte. Tel: +262269609609.
8 Les Baobabs. Price: Upscale.
9 Hôtel Restaurant Sakouli, Plage de sakouli. Price: Upscale.
10 Jardin Maore. directly on the famous N’Gouja beach. Price: from €120.
In addition to the usual Christian Easter, Pentecost, Christmas, the secular holidays of France, such as May 1st, the days of the end of the world wars (November 11th, May 8th), storming of the Bastille (July 14th), etc., are also Islamic Festivals are celebrated, such as Id-ul-Fitri (April 9, 2024) after the end of Ramadan and the Feast of Sacrifice (ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā June 16, 2024).
Police: 17 Fire Department: 18
Theft and violent robbery represent a problem that the gendarmerie cannot handle. The use of artificial drugs (chimique) is common, as is smoking marijuana, which is cultivated wildly in the forest. Gangs of young people, especially illegal immigrants, are a problem. This is not a metropolis. The average school leaving grade is lower than anywhere else in France.
General emergency call: 112 Ambulance: 15
Center Hospitalier de Mayotte (Hospital), Rue de l'hôpital. Tel: +262269618000. The hospital also monitors the four other medical wards, which provide 24-hour emergency treatment. There are also 13 smaller outpatient clinics providing basic care. Open: Emergencies: 24 hours, administration 7.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The European health insurance card is recognized in all French overseas departments. In France, Secteur 1 doctors (dentists: conventionné) do not charge any additional private fees. You still have to pay first and then submit the treatment certificate (feuille de soin). Own contributions are 20-30%.
There is a risk of malaria infection in the country. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended. Consult your doctor before traveling and use protective measures such as mosquito nets.
Mayotte is a largely Muslim country where there is natural respect
for all religions and ethnicities. The government and schools must
remain committed to laïcité.
Lemurs are considered to carry the souls of the deceased and, like the sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beaches here, are strictly protected.
Le Poste, 4 Rue de L' Hôpital, Mamoudzou 97600. Open: Mon.-Fri. 8:00
a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
. Although Mayotte is an integral part of France, it still has its own postal tariff (as of September 1, 2020).
The country code +262 has been used since 2007. It now applies to all French overseas territories in the Indian Ocean, not just Réunion.
The previous six-digit numbers were preceded by 269 in the case of landline numbers and 639 in front of mobile numbers. So from abroad you dial +262 269... for your landline, +262 639... for your cell phone. From France, start with 0269 or 0639, resulting in ten-digit numbers.
In Mayotte you can make calls with your cell phone at your home EU roaming tariff!
The Mayotte archipelago consists of the main island "Grande Terre"
(also called Mayotte, like the entire overseas territory itself),
the side island "Petite Terre" (Pamanzi) and several smaller and
uninhabited islands (îlots). The land area is about 374 km². At
around nine million years old, Mayotte is the oldest volcanic island
in the Comoros. Coral reefs surround the islands. In the rainy
season from November to March, temperatures are higher than in the
dry season. The highest point is Mont Benara on the main island at
660 meters. The capital, Mamoudzou, is also on the main island,
while Dzaoudzi Pamandzi International Airport is on Petite Terre.
Due to its location on the edge of the Indian Ocean and the lack of light sources on the island, Mayotte is hardly affected by light pollution.
In 2018, an 820 meter high submarine volcano arose on the seabed fifty kilometers east of Mayotte at a depth of around 3500 meters, which was noticeable in the same year with an earthquake swarm and a fish kill in the region. Approximately five cubic kilometers of lava were pumped, making this probably the largest underwater eruption ever observed.
Mayotte was in the hands of Malagasy rulers and local sultans since
the 1500s. Slave hunts by the Sakalava people of Madagascar largely
depopulated the island until it was declared a protectorate by France in
1841 at the request of the defenseless sultan for a sum of 1000
Piastres. As the only island group in the archipelago, it maintained
ties with France in the 1974 vote and thus renounced independence. Since
then, the state of the Comoros has claimed Mayotte and does not
recognize its affiliation with France. This is based on a UN resolution
In a referendum held on March 29, 2009, a majority of Mayotte residents supported that the area should receive the competences of the overseas departments and regions under Article 73 of the French Constitution. As a result, on March 31, 2011, Mayotte became the 101st department of France.
According to Marie-Claire Thull, in the early 2010s, Mayotte's per capita gross domestic product was ten times that of the Comoros. However, GDP per capita is less than a third compared to heartland France. The French Embassy in Germany announced in December 2010 that the aim of French policy was "to bring the standard of living of the Mahorian population up to the level of the motherland residents".
Mayotte became part of the European Union on 1 January 2014 as an Outermost Region (OMR).
Mayotte is represented in
the French National Assembly with two deputies (since June 2012) and
in the Senate with two senators. From 1976 to 2001, Mayotte was a
territorial entity (Collectivité territoriale) under Article 72 of
the Constitution, in July 2001 it received the designation
Collectivité départementale and in 2007 under Article 74 the status
of Collectivité d'outre-mer ("overseas entity"). Mayotte has a
General Council and has been an overseas department since March 31,
2011, but was not part of the European Union until the end of a
transition period on December 31, 2013.
A small contingent of French soldiers from the Détachement de Légion Etrangère de Mayotte (Foreign Legion) is still stationed on the island.
French law has applied on the island since 2014. Mayotte
residents had until December 31, 2013 to decide which law applied to
general (French) law as it applies in European France (Code civil, notaries, administration, courts, etc.) or
the so-called statut personnel, then European law did not apply, nor did laïcité. This status was only possible for the Islamic residents of Mayotte and immigrants from the Comoros or from north-western Madagascar. The administration of justice was carried out by Islamic kadis. Affected was the legal status of women (including unilateral divorce, polygamy), inheritance law (e.g. discrimination based on religious affiliation) and land law. According to Muslim law, marriages were contracted from the age of 15.
The legal specificity of the statut personnel was an obstacle to Mayotte's full incorporation into the French state and the European Union. On March 29, 2009, a referendum was held on whether Mayotte should be transformed into a fully-fledged French department. With a turnout of 61.4%, 95.2% voted “yes”.
With the incorporation that took place in 2011, the legal system was adapted to that of the mother country. On January 1, 2014, Mayotte received the status of an "outermost region" and has been part of the EU ever since. Since then, French law has been mandatory.
Women have a relatively strong position in Mahorian society. They are
traditionally the homeowners. The men move in with their wives and leave
their house in the event of a divorce, which gives them a certain level
of financial security. Every man has to build a house or a floor for his
daughters or sisters. The houses are passed down from mothers to
The families are relatively unstable, which is reflected in a high divorce rate and also a high rate of remarriage. Divorces are often filed by women, which is not a social shame. Polygamy has recently been officially banned. At the age of 14, boys traditionally move into mud huts (bangas) next to their parents' house in order to become independent. The Bangas are passed from brother to brother. The girls stay in their parents' house.
Children of illegal immigrant parents who are caught are often left behind in Mayotte; their existence is sometimes concealed from French executive bodies. They are then left to fend for themselves and join gangs whose members don't go to school, can't find legal work and mostly make a living from theft. Adults “sans papiers” (“without papers”, i.e. without a residence permit) are regularly picked up by the police, but de facto cannot be deported because the Union of the Comoros does not take back its own citizens or people with unclear citizenship.
According to the 2002 census, 64.7% of 160,301 residents were born in
Mayotte and 3.9% in other French regions. 28.1% had immigrated from the
neighboring islands of the independent Comoros, 2.8% from Madagascar and
the remaining 0.5% from other countries. In July 2004 there were 178,438
residents, more than half of whom were younger than 20 years old.
According to Mansour Kamardine (Mayotte 2002-2007), in 2017 52% of the population were illegal immigrants and their children, most of whom enter via the neighboring Comoros island of Anjouan. Most of these immigrants are Africans from the Great Lakes region, Pakistanis and Malagasy. In 2015, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 illegal immigrants lived on Mayotte, mostly people from the surrounding islands. Since the immigrants mostly make the crossing to Mayotte at night in boats called kwassa-kwassa, it is difficult to effectively prevent illegal immigration, although there are Frontex-like controls on the waters around Mayotte, especially since the boat's occupants are at risk of capsizing to die, to accept. In 2013, Comoros President Ikililou Dhoinine caused a stir at the UN General Assembly when he told delegates in New York: “The visa that is responsible for the deaths of 10,000 of my compatriots puts the sea between Mayotte and the others Islands become the largest underwater graveyard in the world.”
The main motive of the immigrants in 2007 was to work on plantations under harsh conditions, but for significantly more attractive wages than in their homeland. In fact, French authorities are attempting to expeditiously deport illegal adult immigrants who are apprehended. There are a large number of heavily pregnant women among those entering the country, as France generally does not deport minors. The hope that these children will become French citizens often fails because of the condition that they must conscientiously fulfill their compulsory schooling until their 16th birthday, although compliance with this obligation cannot in fact be enforced.
According to statements made by MP Mansour Kamardine to the French Parliament in 2020, massive illegal immigration has led to a continuous increase in violence for several years. The violence reached a peak in November 2022, when the island was "on the brink of civil war" after two rival gangs set fire to houses and cars in the capital, set up roadblocks and attacked school buses, and attacked students with machetes, killing some teenagers had their hands chopped off.
Operation Wuambushu (Mahor word meaning "resumption" - take in hand)
is a French police operation running in Mayotte since April 24, 2023,
aimed at deporting foreigners without a residence permit, destroying
slums and reducing crime on the Fight archipelago.
The operation was exposed on February 22, 2023 by the satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné and its triggering was confirmed on April 20, 2023 by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin in an interview with Le Figaro. During his visit to Mayotte in December 2022, Darmanin announced that he wanted to intensify the fight against illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants already made up 30% of the population.
The crime rate on Mayotte is unusually high: arson, burglaries, robbery and homicide. The perpetrators are also said to include youth gangs, some armed with machetes, who are seen in the political debate as illegal immigrants.
Initially, the demolition of the slums was suspended by the court. After more than a month of violent clashes between illegal immigrants and security forces flown in from France, the demolition of slums continued and illegal immigrants with Comoros IDs were disembarked. The ferry connection to the Comoros was interrupted for three weeks, but was then resumed.