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Mayotte - History

The Island of Mayotte is located at the entry to the Mozambique Channel and has for centuries been a crossroads for maritime trade between Europe and the Indian Ocean. At the origins of the Mayotte settlement, several civilizations are at the origin of the population of Mayotte. The first settlement of Bantu origin took place between the 5th and 8th centuries. According to the most recent archaeological and linguistic research, the first settlements are thought to date back to the 8th century and to have been made by both Bantu civilisations from the East African roast and Austronesian (or Proto-Malagasy) civilisations from Indonesia. In the 9th century, the arrival of Arab-Persian merchants on the Comoros Archipelago caused an upheaval in the social organisation: the tribal and matrilineal system, a heritage of the African origins, was replaced by an organisation based on the sultanate system and the principles of Islam.

Until the 13th century, trade developed with other islands of the Canal of Mozambique, Madagascar and Africa. Arab invasions succeed each other and bring the Swahili culture and the Muslim religion.

Rival sultanates were created in the Comoros archipelago. The first Europeans, Portuguese and French, landed in Mayotte in the 15th century, and used the archipelago as a supply point on the Route des Indes. At the end of the 18th century until the beginning of the 19th century, Mayotte was the scene of violent disturbances (slave raids by the Malagasy, looting, wars of succession ...). The population was reduced to 3,000 people.

Mayotte was first and foremost regarded as a port of call and only began to be of interest to the French following their loss of influence on the ile-de-France (today Mauritius) in 1814. The history of French Mayotte began in the 19th century, when the last Sultan of Mayotte handed aver the island to Commander Passot on 25 April 1841. On April 25, 1841, the Sultan ANDRIANTSOULI, of Malagasy origin, ceded the island of Mayotte to France, represented by Commander PASSOT to escape the island from attacks from outside, especially Comoros.

Mayotte was officially taken over by the French in June 1843 with the ratification of the Treaty of Surrender of Mayotte. The island subsequently became a French colony. Mayotte then became a French colony. Slavery was abolished there in 1846. Under the second empire, Mayotte transformed itself into a society of plantations, employing an immigrant labor force, the "engaged workers".

From 1880 to 1912, France established a protectorate on the other islands of the Comoros Archipelago, which became Overseas Territories (TOM} in 1946. From 1886 to 1892, France established a protectorate over the other three islands of the Comoros, the archipelago was then placed under the authority of the governor of Mayotte. By the law of July 25, 1912, the Comorian whole, of which Mayotte, becomes a province of the colony of "Madagascar and Dependencies".

After two major revolts (one in Grande Comore in 1915 and the other in Anjouan in 1940), the Comoros archipelago obtained the status of Overseas Territory in 1946, endowing it with administrative autonomy, with For county town of Dzaoudzi.

By the late 50s, the economic and social progress in the Comoros will be overshadowed by political issues of autonomy and independence, and conversely, by the will of Mayotte to remain French. The rupture between Mayotte and the rest of the Comoros is for the first time in the years 1957-1958. The decree of 22 July 1957 which gives effect to the provisions of the Framework Law in June 1956, extends the powers of the Territorial Assembly, establishes a Council of Government and institutionalized self-government strengthens its powers in Mayotte. On May 14, 1958, the Territorial Assembly voted a motion calling for the transfer of the capital from Dzaoudzi to Moroni.

The Territorial Assembly of the Comoros chose the status of French overseas territory (TOM). However, in Mayotte, just over 80% of voters preferred the status of French overseas department (DOM). In December 1974, a referendum was held on the independence of the Comoros Islands. At the end of the vote count, which is done island by island, Mayotte is the only one of the four islands of the Comoros where the will to remain in the French Nation is majority with 63.8% of the votes cast.

The Act of 31 December 1975 on the consequences of the self-determination of the Comorian Islands provides in its article 1 that "within two months of the promulgation of this Act ... the population of Mauritius shall be called upon to decide Whether it wishes Mayotte to remain within the French Republic or become part of the new Comorian state ".

A second referendum was organized on February 8, 1976, and showed an even greater desire to remain in the French Nation, with 99.4% of the vote. Parliament took note of this result by adopting the law of 24 December 1976 on the organization of Mayotte which provides in its article 1 that "Mayotte [...] constitutes a territorial collectivity of the French Republic".

The aforementioned Act of 24 December 1976 granted it the provisional status of a "territorial authority" and provided in Article 10 that "new laws shall apply to Mayotte only on express terms". Subsequently, the law of 22 December 1979 relating to Mayotte reaffirmed that "the island of Mayotte is part of the French Republic and can not cease to belong to it without the consent of its population". However, it did not resolve the question of the status of the island and stipulated that "within five years from the promulgation of this law, the population of Mayotte will be consulted, after the advice of the General Council, On the maintenance of the status defined by Law No. 76-1212 of 24 December 1976 or on the transformation of Mayotte into a department or possibly on the adoption of a different status ".

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Page last modified: 24-07-2017 18:27:51 ZULU