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Mayotte (French)Timeline: 1983: Doomsday
OTL equivalent: Mayotte
Mayotte Island shown in the Indian Ocean
|-||Total|| 374 km2
144 sq mi
Mayotte (French: Mayotte, pronounced: [majɔt]; Shimaore: Maore, IPA: [maˈore]; Malagasy: Mahori) is a former overseas territory and region of France consisting of a main island, Grande-Terre (or Maore), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), and several islets around these two. After doomsday the territory of Mayotte was heavily targeted by refugees and immigrants, greatly worsening the dense population and creating a housing crisis. Several years later the islands would become the second French-speaking territory of the Indian Ocean, after the island of Réunion, to join the Republic of the French Southern Territories, greatly aiding the islands' defense and economic situation.
Mayotte's capital and largest city is the city of Mamoudzou, located on the northeast coast of the island. The territory is also known as Maore, the native name of its main island, especially by advocates of its inclusion in the Union of Comoros. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean, between the regions of northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. Mayotte has an area of 374 sq km (144 sq mi) and is very densely populated for its size. The territory of Mayotte is geographically part of the Comoro Islands, but the people of Mayotte chose to remain politically a part of France after a referendum in 1975.
The first settlement on the islands was the Maore or Mawuti (contraction of the Arabic جزيرة الموت Jazīrat al-Mawt -meaning island of the dead / of death and corrupted to Mayotte in French) sultanate, which was established on the islands in 1500, and later was observed by Portuguese explorers in the area.
Andriantsoly, former king of Iboina on the nearby island of Madagascar, conquered the Maore Sultanate in 1832, although was later taken in 1833 by the neighboring sultanate of Mwali (Mohéli island in French). This was followed by the Ndzuwani Sultanate (Anjouan sultanate in French), who installed a governor with the unusual Islamic style of Qadi (from the Arabic قاض which means judge), acting as a 'Resident Magistrate' (in British terms), but in 1836, regained its independence under a last local Sultan.
Mayotte was ceded to France in 1841, and in 1974 and 1976 voted to retain its link to France and forgo independence. Until doomsday the islands would continue to be claimed by the Comoros, resulting in a draft 1976 United Nations Security Council resolution recognizing Comorian sovereignty over Mayotte, supported by 11 of the 15 members of the Council, but was vetoed by France.
During the nuclear exchange the areas of eastern Africa were completely untouched by nuclear strikes, leaving the islands of Mayotte is good condition. The islands also did not receive any subsequent radiation. Complete contact was lost with Europe, prompting many citizens to panic. After being contacted by the Comoros and other nearby islands, it was determined that a nuclear exchange had occurred.
Like many other states, the islands of Mayotte declared a state of emergency, and deployed its small police force to attempt to quell unrest from its citizens. Rioting and looting were slowly stopped, but not before the destruction of several properties on the islands. Valuable commodities for survival, such as food and water, were distributed while they lasted, helping to control the unstable population.
The islands' position between the African coast to the west and Madagascar and other islands to the east made it a perfect target for refugees fleeing in panic from war torn or impoverished areas. The island became plagued with refugees, who flooded the streets and added to the overcrowded population density of the islands. The government of the islands had no choice but to deploy its police forces on the coast to forcefully turn back refugees. The policy inevitably resulted in severe violence, overstretching the police force, which was already bogged down fighting crime on the islands' interiors.
A government was created in the absence of the French assembly, although heavily based off the former French system. The politics of Mayotte would take place in a parliamentary representative democratic community, whereby the President of the General Council is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Representatives from the former French overseas government were temporarily appointed to oversee this government until elections could take place.
Supplies managed to last into 1984, but the effects of doomsday slowly caught up to the Mayotte Islands. The islands primarily agricultural economy, focusing on fishing and livestock raising, was crippled by the hungry population and immigration issues, leading to widespread food shortages. Unable to import the large portions of food from France that the islands once did, many died of starvation in the coming months, especially poor immigrants who soon found that the islands were in a similarly bad condition to the one they left.
The newly created provisional government of the islands immediately began looking into ways to combat the food shortages the islands were experiencing. The police force was expanded, and armed police were stationed at government subsidized farms, hoping to decrease stolen food and other problems. The government would also pay trade vessels and small ships to undertake commercial fishing.
A policy was instituted dictating that only a small number of refugees could be allowed into the islands per year, which would later be copied by Réunion and other nearby islands. A coast guard was created from police and military vessels stationed in the area, cracking down on illegal immigration and smuggling. The massive commercial fishing exploits initially made this difficult, as the makeshift fishing boats were often mistaken for drug smuggling operations. Many poor fishermen were illegal immigrants or non citizens themselves, and this would often slow down the process even further. The use of aggressive force against hostile immigration attempts would continue, as would controversial house raids and other techniques.
Poor neighborhoods of Mayotte cities became overcrowded and disease ridden, cramped with starving and sick refugees. A government initiative would be created in 1995 to replace slums with cleaner and less crowded developments. Since then several neighborhoods have been demolished and replaced by large apartment style buildings. Despite this camps of homeless and poor immigrants still clog the eastern shore with dingy shacks and tents, spreading under bridges and caves, and several poorer neighborhoods still exist outside Mamoudzou that are plagued by crime and poverty.
In the early 2000's contact was made between Mayotte and the Pacific territories of the Republic of the French Southern Territories, a collection of former French-administered territories outside of the European continent. Following their neighbor, Réunion, Mayotte would vote to join the nation as a territory. Since then the Republic has invested largely in relief efforts and policing on the island.