Sunday, March 29, 2009

98, 99...

... 100 and 101

While some part of the world are fighting for their independence (T1b@t is once again closed to Tourists, mostly due to the 1st anniversary of last year’s riots), the mostly Muslim Indian Ocean island of Mayotte voted to become France 101st département (an administrative district)

The island’s status will change from an “overseas community” to become a French department. The move would give Mayotte progressive access to numerous new social benefits but would also force residents to adjust cultural customs, for instance raising the minimum age for women to marry from 15 to 18 and outlawing polygamy.

Both the United Nations and the African Union consider the island to be part of the Comoros archipelago even though its population voted to remain linked to France in a 1974 referendum on self-determination. The other three islands of Comoros voted for independence and in 1975 Comoros became a UN member state.

The vote in Mayotte, located between the African continent and Madagascar, 6,210 miles from Paris, comes as separatist movements are gathering pace in other French overseas territories.

All the way to the South