Mayotte is a magnet for Comoros islanders who risk their lives crossing hazardous seas in search of a better life.
Against the backdrop of today’s refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, another tragedy has gone almost unreported on the east coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar.
Mayotte, one of the four islands in the Comoros archipelago, used to be a French Overseas Territory but now is part of France, the 101st departement of the Republic. But it is also at the centre of a crisis unfolding in the Indian Ocean. Mayotte covers almost 400 square kilometres and has a population of about 214,000, the majority of whom are Muslim. It is surrounded by coral reefs and the ancient Arab sailors whose ships often came to grief on its shores named it the “Island of Death”.