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Controversial Operation "Wuambushu" to resume on French island of Mayotte

People wait for relatives being returned from Mayotte after being caught as illegal immigrants at the port of Anjouan, Comoros, Tuesday March 18, 2008.
People wait for relatives being returned from Mayotte after being caught as illegal immigrants at the port of Anjouan, Comoros, Tuesday March 18, 2008. Copyright Jerome Delay/AP
Copyright Jerome Delay/AP
By Euronews with AFP
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The controversial French policy aims to clear slums, including razing makeshift settlements, and sending illegal migrants back to the neighbouring Comoros.

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A tribunal has authorised the reinstatement of operation 'Wuambushu' on the French island of Mayotte in a move aimed at combating illegal immigration and crime.

The controversial policy clears slums, including razing makeshift settlements, and sending illegal migrants back to the neighbouring Comoros.

A Mayotte appeals court ruled in favour of the demolishing the Talus 2 slum, an informal settlement in the north-eastern town of Koungou, where around 100 families live.

Gregoire Merot/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
A man shows a French official document forbidding to park near the Talus 2 district of Koungou, in the French Indian Ocean territory of Mayotte, Saturday, April 22, 2023.Gregoire Merot/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved

'Wuambushu aims to dislodge irregular migrants, mostly from Comoros, from Mayotte's insalubrious shanty towns. 

The operation has been denounced as "brutal", "anti-poor" and "violating the rights of migrants" by many associations, but is supported by elected officials and many inhabitants of the island. 

Some 1,800 French security forces – including hundreds from Paris – were deployed for the operation.

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