The violent attack on two nature guards from the French Biodiversity Office ( FBO) on March 12th triggered the interest of our colleague Denis Hermann based in the young French department.

The two guards were savagely attacked by approximately thirty individuals while on patrol on Mounyambani beach in their efforts to repress sea turtle poaching. One of them was seriously injured and his service weapon, a GLOCK 17, was stolen, along with the ammunition. This shows that insecurity in Mayotte is an empty word, but that is not the issue. Denis Hermann simply wondered about the presence of his guards on foot when they have (theoretically) a super boat perfectly adapted to their mission. Precisely a 10-metre aluminium boat with a 300 horsepower engine (photo), built by the Mahoran company Somarsal for the modest sum of 200,000 € taken from the budget of the State-Territory project contract. This was a fine initiative taken by Saïd Omar Oili when he was President of the General Council, between 2004 and 2008, but unfortunately it fell into the dustbin of wasted public money in Mayotte: the launch remains firmly attached to the Mamoudzou quay, in its original state, as it has practically never been used. A curiosity that deserves an investigation and “distributing blue flights”, concludes our colleague in his March 23 edition (an expression used to designate a disciplinary measure: in this case, sending irresponsible civil servants back to Metropolitan France). Another paradox typical of French administrative red tape: the OFB’s management is not based in Mayotte, nor even in Reunion Island, but in Vincennes, near Paris! Handy for fighting turtle poachers who might venture to the banks of the Seine!
By Jacques Rombi