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Geographically part of the Comoros Islands, it voted twice (1974, 1976) against independence from French colonial rule and integration into the state of the Comoros. Its population has sought to lobby the French government for a change in its status from ‘collective territory’ to an overseas department, which would give its inhabitants French citizenship and full political rights as an integral part of France. After the second referendum, France considerably raised its investment in the island: owing to French aid and transfer payments, in 2000 Mayotte's GDP of $3,000 exceeded that of the unstable Comoros Islands more than fivefold. In 2000, France granted Mayotte the status of ‘collectivité départementale’, which entailed more political rights while stopping short of endowing Mayotte with the status of an overseas department.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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