The town hall of Koungou, the second most populous municipality in Mayotte, was the target of an arson on Monday evening, September 27, after demonstrations against the destruction of a shanty town comprising some 350 homes, he said. we learned from municipal officials. The fire started in three cars parked in the town hall parking lot before spreading to the main building, and an annex under construction which was to accommodate the cafeteria. The firefighters were able to go there to extinguish the fire, escorted by the police, local media said.
Shortly before, the municipal police building was also the subject of an attempted fire. But the neighborhood quickly warned the municipal police who managed to limit the damage. They had already secured the area.
Municipal employees were allowed to leave work earlier after the launch of an operation Monday to demolish 350 homes in the Caro Bolé slum, in Koungou, with a significant mobilization of the police. While some residents agreed to be relocated, others refused the Mayotte prefecture’s proposals and threatened to attack municipal officials and Koungou town hall.
“I condemn the inadmissible acts of violence that took place that night (Monday) in Koungou in Mayotte. The security forces are determined to restore order. I assure the mayor and his teams all my support. We will continue to fight against illegal housing despite these actions ”, Foreign Minister Sébastien Lecornu reacted on Twitter.
Four residents were arrested and taken into police custody on Monday for throwing stones at the officers responsible for the demolition. And about twenty people in an irregular situation were arrested to be taken to the administrative detention center with a view to deportation to their country of origin. “Faced with barbaric violence and arson attacks by the town hall and the municipal police in Koungou, (…) I appeal to the greatest firmness and unfailing determination ”, reacted for his part the deputy of Mayotte Mansour Kamardine (LR), in a press release.
The destruction of these tin huts should allow the construction of 500 social housing units. Since the start of the year, 955 homes have been destroyed in Mayotte, including 200 in Koungou in February. And at that time, troubles with roadblocks had already occurred.