16 April 2018

Comoros: Comorian Government in Tussle With France Over French Island, Mayotte

France might be facing one of its because challenges on sovereignty after its officials expelled migrants from the Department of Mayotte into Comoros. The Comorian government blocked entry of the migrants into the country. Comoros is claiming sovereignty of Mayotte and protests have been rocking the capital, Moroni.

The French government has been deporting immigrants from the Department of Mayotte to Comoros Island. The Department of Mayotte is part of the four islands that make up Comoros.

Part of the relics of colonialism is that many islands were claimed by colonising countries such as France, Denmark and Britain. France bought the island in 1841. A similar act the U.S. did when it bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917.

The Comorian government has however been claiming the sovereignty of Mayette. Protests rocked Moroni, the capital of Comoros to demonstrate support for the Comorian government.

French authorities expelled undocumented migrants from Mayotte back to Comoros Island, a move the Comorian government blocked by refusing Comorian citizens deported from Mayotte, any entrance into Comorian territory.

In a 1974 referendum, the people of Mayotte voted to be politically part of France. On 1 January 2014, it became an outermost region of the European Union. Unlike former French territories that make use of the Franc, Mayotte makes use of the Euro and is considered a French territory.

The policy of assimilation and association the French government implemented in their former colonies still lingers heavily on all territories they controlled and are currently controlling. France as a country has mastered the art of controlling its former colonies.

The challenge Comoros poses to France on the sovereignty of Mayette makes one question the relationship former colonial powers have on their former colonies. France has been linked with many coups in West Africa, most of which were against heads of state who wanted to exercise the sovereignty of their countries.

With debates still going on about the use of the Franc by French colonised countries in West Africa, the tussle between Comoros Island and France could further expose how modern France still clings terribly to its colonial past even when African countries want to move forward.

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