The authorities are preparing the evacuation of “Talus 2”, a slum with blue and gray sheet metal

Destruction operation. At the entrance to the Majicavo slum, in the north of the island of Mayotte, one of those that the French authorities want to see quickly evacuated and then demolished, a group forms around a poster with the tricolor flag, posted up by municipal officials.

The text of the A4 sheet announces a traffic ban on Tuesday “from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.”, leaving room for a possible prefectural destruction order for that day: a “décasage”, as we say in Mayotte to talk about the evacuation and the destruction of the “bangas”, these local “favelas”. Here, it has been renamed “Talus 2”. A tangle of blue and gray sheet metal. Each metal door bears an identification number, painted in pink paint by social services a month ago.

Behind the one marked “126”, the life of the Soufou family is contained in a dozen wheeled suitcases and shopping bags full to bursting. “We prepare the luggage to leave, the clothes, the sheets, all the things but we haven’t finished”, explains Zenabou Soufou, 48 years old and seven children, all French thanks to their Mayotte father born on the island.

More than 2,000 police and administrative agents mobilized

On the bed, the unicorn stuffed animals of the three girls have not yet been wrapped. The family has no idea where they will go, claiming they have not been offered any alternative accommodation. “We didn’t refuse to leave there (the slum, editor’s note), but we want a dignified house so that children can stay at home. But if they destroy our houses, where are we going to go with the children? asks the mother of the family.

The lack of rehousing is often cited in the neighborhood. “It is false, there is a proposal made to each of these families, who accept it or not. It is pure bad faith, ”argues an official familiar with the matter, on the island.

The Sufu are therefore inexpellable from the territory, but not from their home. They are also an illustration of the social and administrative headache that this large-scale operation decided on in Paris represents, on a case-by-case basis.

In the 101st French department, begins a vast operation sometimes called “Wuambushu” (“recovery” in Mayotte) against delinquency and against illegal immigration. The authorities intend to carry out the expulsion of foreigners in an irregular situation and the “stripping” of unsanitary neighborhoods, often squatted. More than 2,000 police and administrative agents are mobilized.

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