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February 03 2014

Clashes between Police Forces and High School Students in La Réunion Island

Clashes between students and police forces broke out on January 31 and February 1 in Saint-Denis, La réunion Island. Some shops in the district of La Chaudron were looted and some vehicles were torched, according to a police source. Anne Mariotti, a reporter at  Journal de l’île de la Réunion, writes that residents are confused about the causes of the violence [fr]:

L’incompréhension, aussi, parce qu’il ne s’agit pas de magasins de première nécessité! J’ai parlé à la gérante d’un magasin de hi-fi, qui ne comprenait pas: ça n’a plus rien à voir avec une manifestation contre la vie chère.  

[Residents] don't understand because the shops that were attacked are not selling staple products. I talked to one audio shop manager who was at loss with the attacks : this has nothing to do with protesting the cost of living anymore.

This infographic shows the statistics on violence in La Réunion Island in the recent years [fr]:

Statistics on violence in La Réunion Island via Insee - Public Domain

Statistics on violence in La Réunion Island via Insee – Public Domain

January 03 2014

PHOTOS: Cyclone BEJISA Wrecks Havoc on Reunion Island

Cyclone Bejisa by @delarue_julien on twitter

Cyclone Bejisa by @delarue_julien on twitter

Cylcone Bejisa made landfall on January 2 on the French island of Reunion. One person died, 15 people were seriously injured and around 82,000 homes reportedly suffered power cuts. The cyclone has now left the island and the red alert is lifted. Here are additional photos and videos of the damages taken by local citizens:

Video of cylone Bejisa in Reunion Island by animax2013 on Youtube.

Damages from Cyclone Bejisa in the city of Saint-Denis

December 28 2013

PHOTOS: Humans of Comoros, Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands

“The Humans of _____” concept is a photo project featuring street portraits and interviews of regular people collected from all over of the world. Originating with Brandon Stanton's popular Humans of New York, the idea has generated hundreds of spin-offs worldwide, from Latin America to South Asia to the Middle East and North Africa.

Though the African island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean counts its own Humans project, the phenomenon hasn't taken off yet on the nearby Mascarene Islands to the west or on Comoros to the northwest. We hope that the many talented photographs from the region will take up the challenge. To get started, here are a few photographs from Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion.   

Humans of Comoros 

The following photo was taken by David Stanley in Moroni, the capital city of Grande Comore (Ngazidja). A young woman can be seen transporting a jar of water. Access to clean water is still a struggle in many part of Comoros:

Children collecting water from public taps in Moroni, Grande Comore, Union of the Comoros by David Stanley CC License -BY-2.0

Children collecting water from public taps in Moroni, Grande Comores, Union of the Comoros. Photo by David Stanley, CC License BY-2.0

Humans of Madagascar

Joey Ayoub, a Global Voices contributor who recently published a photo post on the Humans of the Middle East and North Africa, helped create the Facebook page for Humans of Madagascar. He then passed on the project to Lalah Ariniana, also a Global Voices contributor living in Madagascar. Here is the latest post on the Humans of Madagascar Facebook page:

“Tarika Mainty”a band created by kids playing drums and dancing in the streets of the Capital City by Lalah Ariniaina with her permission

In the accompanying blog post, Lalah goes into further detail about the life of these three children who started a band to earn a living [fr]:

j’ai fait la connaissance de trois garçons d’une dizaine d’années du groupe « Mainty » (Noir). Fabrice est à la batterie, Christian fait du bruit avec une corne (comme celle qu’on utilise pendant les fêtes d’anniversaire) et Cédric danse. Ils offrent des petits spectacles de rue en faisant le tour des quartiers du centre-ville.

I met three boys who are all about ten years old. They created the band “Mainty” (Black in Malagasy). Fabrice is on drums, Christian is using a self-made horn (like the one used at birthday parties) and Cedric provides the dancing. They do small street performances by touring neighborhoods of downtown Antananarivo.

Humans of Mauritius

There isn't yet a Humans of Mauritius blog, so the Humans of Dubai page posted a few photos to initiate the project. Here is a photo of a typical snack store in Port Louis:

Man in front of grocery store in Port Louis via Humans of Dubai with permission

Man in front of grocery store in Port Louis via Humans of Dubai with permission

Humans Of Reunion
A Humans of La Réunion page also hasn't been created yet, but a good starting place is the photos shared by Ile de La Réunion Tourisme (IRT) Facebook page. They provide a wide variety of photographs illustrating the diversity of the island. Here is a photo of artists from Saint Maxime, Reunion island:

Maxime Laope and their kids in Reunion with their permission

Maxime Laope and their kids in Reunion with their permission

June 04 2013

Snowfall in the Tropics

Le Piton de la Fournaise, a volcano on Reunion Island covered with snow via @Margoow33/

The tropical Island of La Réunion experienced a relatively rare snowfall on the top of the volcano, Piton de la fournaise on June 3. explains that [fr] the first snowfall on the island was observed in 1988 and the latest was in 2007.

January 02 2013

Mauritius and Reunion Island Brace for Cyclone Dumile Impact

Rain falls hard in Mauritius as Cyclone Dumile makes landfall via -Public Domain reports that Mauritius is on high alert [fr] as cyclone Dumile makes landfall on the island. Agaléga island was hit hard [fr] and was in blackout for 24h. Réunion island is also on high alert [fr].

October 01 2012

March 07 2012

La Réunion : A Dynamism far from the Cliché of Dependence on Public Aid

Sandrine Dionys interviewed [fr] Emmanuelle, a young entrepreneur from La Réunion for the Bondy Blog. She rails against the cliché of the Réunion Islanders being dependent on the French government for aid.

August 06 2011

Africa : Delicious Peanut

Nadia Khouri-Dagher writes a post on [fr] where she praises the peanut, a condiment that has been integrated in most African cuisines: “Senegalese Chicken Mafé, Malian Peanuts Tiguadegue sauce, Ghanean Inkatse-abè sauce, Togolese Azindéssi sauce, Beninese Aziin nusunnu sauce, Congolese moambe chicken, Peanut rougail from Reunion Islands,… : The peanut or goober composes a wide array of dishes and popular and delicious in the majority of Sub-Saharan African countries !”

March 20 2010

Martinique: Election, tension and abstention

On Sunday March 14th, all French citizens including those in the four French overseas departments (Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Reunion) were asked to vote for the regional elections and the regional assembly in charge of devolved powers such as planning adult professional training, building and funding public high schools, financing and promoting cultural projects.

The vote took place in a very busy electoral period: Martinicans were asked to decide for more autonomy in their department, only in January.

Two major elections in a three-month period may have been too much for the 55.55% of Martinican voters who decided to stay home and not vote, as shown by Bondamanjak's post [Fr].

Blogger Evolution Martinique comments on [Fr] this high abstention figure:

Le grand vainqueur de ce 1er tour, est à l’évidence le taux record d’abstention (plus de 55%) […].

The winner of the 1st round is obviously the surprisingly high abstention rate (more than 55%) […].

In the same post, the blogger also gives possible reasons to explain why people resorted to abstention:

1. La répétition soutenue des consultations et des scrutins sur une période très dense entre le 10 janvier et le 14 mars.

2. La question du statut institutionnel aura été un enjeu majeur aux yeux des électeurs, reléguant les régionales dans la sphère de la politique politicienne.

3. La qualité bien terne du débat et des propositions politiques de même que le climat délétère dans lequel se déroula cette campagne.

4. Le choix incongru du vote au 2ième tour.

1. The repetition of ballots in a very short period from January 10th to March 14th.

2. The issue of the institutional status must have been more important in the eyes of the citizens, whereas the regional elections are considered as politicking.

3. The low quality of the debate and of the political programs as well as the noxious atmosphere of the campaign.

4. The incongruous choice of voting for the 2nd round.

Martinican blogger [moi]'s playground shares her opinion about the first round of the elections, in a post which details the results for each list, along with her personal comments. Incidentally, she sums up the central stake of this election in Martinique [Fr]:

Trois listes se maintiennent donc pour un second tour ou le duel Marie-Jeanne/Letchimy annoncé va connaître son épilogue.

Three lists are still in for the second round, in which the legendary duel between Marie-Jeanne and Letchimy will meet its end.

The same duel is acknowledged by Bondamanjak in a post entitled “André Lesueur, la troisième voix” (André Lesueur, the third voice).

Both [moi] and Bondamanjak comment on the significant decrease of right-wing voters in Martinique. She wonders [Fr]:

Depuis combien de temps la droite ne s’était pas retrouvée à un second tour d’élections régionales ?

Since when hasn't the right-wing qualified for the second round of regional elections?

A comment to Bondamanjak's post says [Fr]:

Juan […] j'ajouterai
pour terminer que la droite pour moi est menacée d'inutilité politique.

Juan […] to conclude, I'd say that in my opinion the right wing is threatened by political uselessness.

The remarks made by Martinican bloggers concerning the poor quality of the campaigns, the tiredness of the population with elections and the difficult position of the right-wing parties is not an exclusive feature of the overseas departments, since mainland French elections followed the very same pattern, as this post by French blogger Ma Liberté, explains.

French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique: March 19th 1946

Guadeloupean blogger Anba pyé mango-la wonders [Fr] about the situation of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion, former colonies which became the four overseas departments of the French Republic, sixty-four years ago.

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