Magazine article UN Chronicle

General Assembly Reaffirms Comorian Sovereignty over Island of Mayotte

Magazine article UN Chronicle

General Assembly Reaffirms Comorian Sovereignty over Island of Mayotte

Article excerpt

General Assembly reaffirms Comorian sovereignty over island of Mayotte

The General Assembly on 9 December reaffirmed Comorian sovereignty over the island of Mayotte, and urged France to open negotiations with the Comoros "with a view to ensuring the effective and prompt return" of that island to the Comoros.

By resolution 40/62, adopted by 117 votes in favour to 1 against (France), with 22 abstentions, the Assembly also invited France to honour the commitments entered into prior to the 22 December 1974 referendum on the self-determination of the Comoro Archipelago concerning respect for the unity and territorial integrity of the Comoros. It also called for "the translation into practice of the wish expressed by the President of the French Republic to seek actively a just solution to the question of Mayotte."

The Secretary-General was asked to maintain continuous contact with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Secretary-General with regard to that problem and to make available his good offices in the search for a peaceful negotiated solution to the problem.

Report: The Secretary-General's report on Mayotte (A/40/619) included information on the situation from the Comoros, France and the OAU.

The 3 September Comorian note verbale to the United Nations Secretariat said that despite many contacts between France and the Comoros, no positive result had been achieved. Despite its willingness to participate in a dialogue to find a speedy solution to that problem, the Comoros had been "confronted by a barrier of incomprehension on the French side". The situation in Mayotte was deteriorating. The Comoro Archipelago, consisting of four islands, could not develop harmoniously and in the best interests of the inhabitants unless its homogeneous nature was further consolidated.

The "balkanization" of the Comoro Archipelago formed an obstacle to the social and economic development of the Comoros, "which is counted among the least developed countries", the note continued. If that serious problem persisted, it could disturb the region's political stability and peaceful atmosphere. The Comoros regretted that France had taken no measures or initiatives which might bring about a satisfactory solution to the problem, despite its repeated promises to that effect.

The 17 September note uerbale from France to the Secretary-General said that a bill had been submitted to the French Parliament on 20 December 1984 stating that "on a date and under conditions to be decided by law", the population of Mayotte would be consulted with a view to ascertaining whether it wished Mayotte to remain a part of the French Republic or to be separated from it. France encouraged the development and normalization of relations between Mayotte and neighbouring States, particularly the Comoro Archipelago. "In view of the strengthening bonds of friendship between France and the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros, action has been taken to establish good-neighbourly relations between the Archipelago and Mayotte and to promote complementarity of the aid supplied for the development of the two communities", it stated. …

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