French Interior Minister unveils policing measures to tackle Mayotte violence

© GREGOIRE MEROT / AFP

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has announced that France will maintain the number of elite police officers deployed on the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte following an outbreak of violence between rival neighbourhoods that began in November.

During a two-day visit to Mayotte at the weekend, the French Interior Minister gave a progress report on the government's commitments, as the island emerges from an spike in violence between rival gangs.

He announced that 12 police officers from the 'Raid' police tactical unit already present on the island, will remain mobilised there for several more months.

Since November, the Indian Ocean territory has seen clashes between young people from rival neighbourhoods provoked by a murder, which has since lead to the creation of vigilante groups.

On Sunday, Darmanin underlined France's commitment to security on the island, while underlining the gravity of the situation.

"There are now 1,300 police officers and gendarmes on an island with 300,000 inhabitants.

"In other words, for a population seven times smaller than Lyon ... there are twice as many police and gendarmes," he told French public broadcaster France Info.

Tackling illegal immigration

Darmanin also outlined his plans to tackle illegal immigration – which has exacerbated tensions – by bolstering the judicial police force.


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