Minister admits dire situation is due to migrant crime – video

Speaking in parliament, the minister in charge has admitted that the situation was becoming increasingly worrying due to the large number of illegal migrants and the growing crime rate. Because of the constant gang wars authorities had to close down schools for days to ensure the safety of students.


Responding to a question by a fellow MP in parliament regarding the situation on Mayotte, Sebastien Lecornu, the minister in charge of the French overseas territories and departements, acknowledged that the situation on the island was becoming increasingly worrying.

Tensions in Mayotte have been escalating for weeks with locals getting increasingly frustrated with the authorities, accusing them of not doing anything to stop criminal migrants. Urban violence and gang wars are becoming a regular occurence.

Last week saw rival gangs from two neighbouring towns, Combani and Mirereni, clash with each other. During the confrontation involving some 200 migrants, several homes and cars were set abaze. The situation reached a point where the mayor was forced to close down the local schools for days because that was the only way to safeguard the students security.

According to the French statistical office (INSEE), half the population of Mayotte are foreign nationals, mostly illegal immigrants who come to the overseas departement mainly from the Comoros. Nearly fifty percent of the island s residents are minors aged under 17, including many young illegal migrants who have been abandoned by their parents, mostly illegal immigrants themselves. These youngsters tend to team up in gangs and engage in criminal activities to make a living.

Sebastien Lecornu stressed that the French government was aware of the problem which, in itself, was nothing new. In 2019, the government launched the so-called Shikandra operation to curb illegal migration and the measures proved successful that year. However, the lockdown and the coronavirus-induced crisis has caused a considerable setback in many processes.

As part of the operation, 25 thousand illegal immigrants were deported from the island last year. This year, however, the operation came to a halt because of the pandemic, and the situation is becoming unmanageable.  Problems posed by the criminal gangs of underage illegal migrants have been mounting since August. Currently, there are 13 thousand people on the island who should be deported.  Diplomatic talks with the Comoros are needed to stop illegal migration, Rtl reported, quoting the minister in charge of French overseas territories.



crime, illegal migration, mayotte