A Mayotte, France court Tuesday ordered the government to stop its expulsion of migrants in the Mayotte island department. In Operation Wuambushu, which translates to “Take Back” in Maore, the government sought to dismantle “slums” in Mayotte by removing the increasing population of undocumented immigrants on the island and demolishing shelters. Mayotte is one of France’s 12 overseas territories, with many migrants traveling from Comoros, a neighboring archipelago off Southeast Africa, in search of a better life
In an exclusive interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin explained how President Emmanuel Macron sent 440 additional police officers to the department over the past six years. Additionally, Darmanin highlighted the uptick in violent crime, with a 16 percent increase in homicides last year and 30 percent increase in violent thefts on the island.
The French union General Confederation of Labour released a statement expressing concern over the operation, stating there is an increased risk of violence and violations of rights that could result from the government’s actions. Specifically, the union said 5,000 people are at risk of losing their homes and highlighted that more than 80 percent of the department population lives in poverty.
Yesterday, the Canadian government issued a travel advisory for visitors going to Mamoudzou, the capital of Mayotte, citing a “sharp rise in violent crime due a conflict between rival neighborhood gangs.” This order comes after a controversial pension reform law raised France’s legal retirement age from 62 to 64 and sparked protests and strikes across the country.