Mayotte: Gabriel Attal calls for “acceleration” of the dismantling of the Cavani camp

Gabriel Attal asked on Wednesday February 7 for an “acceleration” of the dismantling of a camp for African asylum seekers installed in the Cavani district of Mamoudzou, which has become a source of growing tensions on the island of Mayotte

Mayotte: Gabriel Attal calls for “acceleration” of the dismantling of the Cavani camp

Gabriel Attal asked on Wednesday February 7 for an “acceleration” of the dismantling of a camp for African asylum seekers installed in the Cavani district of Mamoudzou, which has become a source of growing tensions on the island of Mayotte. “At this stage, 200 people have been evacuated [from the Cavani camp]. There are 500 left,” the Prime Minister told the National Assembly, responding to the leader of the Les Républicains (LR) deputies, Olivier Marleix. “I say it very clearly and very firmly, I say it again: the dismantling of this camp is underway and will be completed,” added Mr. Attal.

Started on January 25 at the request of Gabriel Attal, the evacuation of this camp of several hundred African asylum seekers crystallized tensions between residents and refugees in Mayotte, paralyzed by blockages for more than two weeks. Members of a citizen collective and residents are blocking the island's main roads to protest against insecurity and immigration in this Indian Ocean territory, the poorest department in France.

If immigration to Mayotte comes mainly from the neighboring Comoros, the exiles settled in Cavani mainly come from Great Lakes Africa. They have been installed for months at the Cavani stadium, a district of the town of Mamoudzou, and in the surrounding streets, in huts made of wooden planks and covered with tarpaulins.

Tuesday, during a press point, the head of LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, called for a “change of register” from the government in its action in Mayotte, calling on the national navy to “cut a certain number of sea lanes” to “ drying up the flow of migrants. His colleague Pierre-Henri Dumont, for his part, had requested “radar” means to “detect the arrival of kwassa-kwassa [makeshift boats] from the Comoros further upstream”.