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View of Mamoudzou, Mayotte, Sep. 15, 2003 (photo by David Stanley, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

Mayotte Islands Protest Inequality, But France Says Progress Takes Time

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Denunciations of French President Francois Hollande’s government know no geographic boundaries these days. In Paris, students are protesting a labor reform bill; in Mali, demonstrators ransacked an airport, decrying arrests made by French forces there. And since March 30, strikes and protests have paralyzed the French department and former colony of Mayotte, as residents demand “real equality” with the rest of France.

Mayotte, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean situated between Madagascar and Mozambique, is one of France’s overseas departments; its residents are French citizens with parliamentary representation. But in many ways, Mayotte is far behind other overseas departments and “metropolitan” France—the part of France that’s located in Europe, including Corsica. ...

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