- The Comoran Human Rights Foundation (FCDH) has called for the stopping of high level talks between the government of Comoros and the French authorities of the Comoran archipelago island Mayotte, decrying gross human rights violations on Mayotte against Comoran immigrants.
The rights group yesterday issued a statement, saying the High Level Working Group talks planned to be held in Moroni tomorrow should be suspended. The planned Comoran-French talks are the fourth round since they started up in June, and Comoran immigration to Mayotte and the French status of Mayotte are among the top issues.
According to the foundation, it would be "inappropriate" to hold the Moroni talks after the 20 November capsizing of a kwassa - a small traditional boat - on Mayotte. The kwassa was filled with migrants - "illegal" according to Mayotte authorities - that died in the accident. The dead Comorans were "buried in a mass grave, in defiance of Muslim rites," FCDH pointed out.
The human rights group further demanded an "end to the expulsions [of Comorans living in Mayotte] in degrading conditions." Comoros, with the support of the African Union (AU), considers Mayotte a Comoran island under French occupation, thus questioning the right of Mayotte authorities to expulse immigrating Comorans.
According to the FCDH statement, it would be especially inappropriate to hold these talks tomorrow, 10 December, which coincides with the day of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Also, the group joins other Comoran civil society organisations and in questioning the new status as an integrated French department that Mayotte citizens are seeking in an upcoming referendum. The government of Comoros has also protested this referendum, saying it would be illegal as Mayotte was an "integrated part" of the Comoran territory.
According to the FCDH, "the referendum that the colonial authorities intend to impose in the Comoran island [of Mayotte] still under military occupation" needed to be condemned by the Working Group before Comoran authorities could resume talks.
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