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In Mayotte, the demolition of a vast slum has begun – France

The real start of the disputed “Wuambushu” security operation was launched on Monday in Mayotte, where diggers went into action to demolish the sheet metal huts of Talus 2. This “stripping” began around 7:30 a.m. (8 h 30 in France) in the Majicavo district, in the town of Koungou, in the north of Grande-Terre. Since April, the French authorities have deployed hundreds of police and gendarmes to Mayotte to carry out a series of interventions by the security and social services grouped together under the name of “Wuambushu” (“recovery” in Mayotte).

“In Mayotte, this morning, political voluntarism is paying off: we are continuing the destruction of slums, in which many families lived in unworthy conditions, by offering rehousing”, tweeted the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.

This disputed operation, which aims to reduce unsanitary housing, fight against crime and expel irregular migrants, mostly from the neighboring Comoros archipelago, had almost come to a standstill since its launch nearly a year ago. ‘a month.

Initially scheduled for April 25, the demolition of Talus 2 had been suspended by the Mayotte administrative court in Mamoudzou, before two new court decisions ruled in favor of the State, the last dating from Wednesday.

Early this Monday morning, gendarmes equipped with crowbars and sledgehammers entered the homes to check that no one was there. Electricity and water were cut off. Then the diggers began to destroy the slum, smashing through the hard walls and crushing the sheet metal with a dull metallic sound.

Behind the doors, nobody: the last inhabitants left Talus 2 at dawn.

200 people, including 150 gendarmes, mobilized for a week

The demolition of Talus 2, which mobilized around 200 people on Monday, including 150 gendarmes, “should last all week”, according to Psylvia Dewas, in charge of the reduction of illegal housing at the prefecture of Mayotte.

State services have counted “162 huts to be demolished” in this slum, the prefect, Thierry Suquet, told the press on the spot. “We can consider today that half of the families who lived in this neighborhood have been relocated,” he said. In total, the French authorities plan to destroy a thousand substandard housing in Mayotte over several months, in around fifteen areas.

“The objective is to put an end to the slums in Mayotte”

“The objective is to put an end to the slums in Mayotte”, hammered the prefect, describing “an unbearable situation” for the people who live in these districts, “whose life is in danger”. He defended the “balanced” policy of the State which, according to him, will allow “French people who live in these conditions and foreigners in a regular situation” to have “adapted accommodation”.

Of the estimated 350,000 inhabitants of Mayotte, half do not have French nationality. Only a third of the inhabitants of slums have it.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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