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By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 3, 2003, 20:17
Mayotte is an overseas collectivity of France at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean, between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique, near (and formerly part of) the Comoros.
Mayotte was ceded to France along with the other Comoros in 1843. It was the only island in the archipelago that voted in referendums in 1974 and 1976 to retain its link with France and forgo independence (with 63.8% and 99.4% of votes respectively).
The status of Mayotte was changed in 2001 towards one very close to the status of the départements of mainland France, although the island is claimed by the Comoros.
For the history of Mayotte before 1974 see History of the Comoros.
Dzaoudzi was the capital of Comoros until 1962 and now is Mahoré's administrative center. It is situated on a rocky outcropping off the east shore of the main island. Dzaoudzi is linked by a causeway to le Pamanzi, which at ten kilometers in area is the largest of several islets adjacent to Mahoré.
The island is geologically the oldest of Comoros. It is thirty-nine kilometers long and twenty-two kilometers wide, and its highest points are between 500 and 600 meters above sea level. Because of the volcanic rock, the soil is relatively rich in some areas. A coral reef encircling much of the island ensures protection for ships and a habitat for fish.
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