“Mayotte is a clear place, it's a publicity stunt”: immigration, insecurity… where is the island one year after Operation Wambushu ?

"Mayotte is a clear place, it's a publicity stunt": immigration, insecurity... where is the island one year after Operation Wambushu ?

L'opération est en cours. DPA – Marc Garvenes

This Tuesday, April 16, marked the launch of "Mayotte place net", a new large-scale operation which intends to fight against the migration crisis and growing insecurity. One year after Operation Wambushu, the Mahorese population remains doubtful. Fahad Idaroussi Tsimanda, specialist on the island and doctor in geography at Montpellier III University, takes stock of the situation in Mayotte.

What is the current situation on the island ? Where is the dismantling of the slums ? Who is security situation and drinking water?

It is clear that the authorities have done things halfway and are not tackling the heart of the problem. They attacked the facades of the slums which are still there. So, it's a bit of perlimpinpin powder.

"Mayotte is a clear place, it's a publicity stunt": immigration, insecurity... where is the island one year after Operation Wambushu ?

Fahad Idaroussi Tsimanda. DR

The security situation has not improved either. The Mahorese population was forced to hold the island hostage for several weeks, in order to demand a little more security as well as an end to illegal immigration. But unfortunately gangs are still rampant. During Ramadan, motorists were attacked and their cars were vandalized. These people remain traumatized.

In addition, the population is still deprived of drinking water. Despite the abundant rains of the last two months, the infrastructures are not well calibrated and the Mahorais have water one day in three.

Many migrants were expelled according to the government. Where were they moved ?

There are migrants who have left for France. Some were hosted at the Château de Thiverval-Grignon. Others unfortunately are still waiting for their asylum application to be processed. And these people are wandering the streets of Mamoudzou, in Cavani. They relieve themselves in the streets and pose public health problems. In Mayotte, there are even certain businesses that can no longer operate because this question of public health is no longer assured and is not on the agenda.

Structurally, Mayotte does not have social housing. So it is very difficult to absorb these migratory flows. If the problem is not resolved at its root, the flows will not stop.

The ’operation "Mayotte clean place" started this Tuesday, how did it go?

There was a lot of stone throwing. These irregular migrants feel threatened and opt for violence as a solution. Recently a futari (a local festival, editor's note) organized in Tsingoni in the presence of the prefect degenerated. Outside gangs wanted to attack people. A few days before the launch of this new operation, young thugs also had fun stoning school buses.

But in my opinion, people in an irregular situation who are eligible for social housing or emergency assistance do not engage in these illicit activities .

How do the Mahorais react to the launch of this new operation?

The Mahorais, from the rare comments I have heard, remain skeptical because of the failure of Wambushu 1 The flows of migrants are still arriving in Mayotte. So, as long as this problem is not resolved at the entrance to the island, the Maorais will always be skeptical.

In my opinion, this Wambushu 2 called Mayotte Place Nette is a publicity stunt. They don't really address the root causes. In addition, the operation is launched a few weeks before the European elections. Somehow, I think that Emmanuel Macron is trying to rebuild his image with voters.

Do you think this new Wambushu 2 will be a failure like the first one or is it too early to say ?

I, who have known, lived, and done my work on the island, I remain convinced that this operation is a failure. Migrants were indeed taken out of the Cavani stadium but the problem has only been moved. The Mahorese population and I have noticed this for several years. Yes, people have left Mayotte but others continue to arrive on the island. It’s like trying to fill a leaky barrel that will never fill. We move people who have a document allowing them to leave the island to France and we expel other people to the Comoros but who return. ;rsquo;is not processed in the right place.

The objectives of “Mayotte place net”

"Mayotte clear place" takes over from Operation Wuambushu launched in spring 2023, which already aimed to &agrav; fight against illegal immigration, delinquency and destroy the unsanitary huts organized into shanty towns, which are more and more numerous on the island.

Some 1,700 gendarmes, police and soldiers must be engaged for this operation which is to last 11 weeks. The State is also aiming to arrest 60 individuals, gang leaders in this case, who are particularly wanted.

In the 101st French department, the objective is also to destroy 1 300 bangas (huts), shelters wealth in which irregular migrants live. An envelope of 5 million euros will be used for this purpose. rehouse the migrants arrested as part of the operation. A fourth administrative detention center, created for the occasion, will be effective at the end of the week.

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