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Unions suspend protest, warn of 'civil war' on French Indian Ocean island Mayotte
Pickets were lifted on roads on the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte on Monday as an alliance of trade unions suspended a strike for equal rights with mainland France. Labour leaders warned of "civil war" if Paris does not make more concessions.
Pickets who had brought the island to a near-standstill lifted their blockades at crossroads and major transport hubs on Monday, following a decision by a lengthy mass meeting on Saturday.
Union leaders warned against a repetition of 2011's general strike, which lasted 44 days and caused hardship for much of the population.
Violence by gangs of unemployed youths at the beginning of last week led them to fear worse unrest, they said.
"If the government doesn't make some sort of gesture, we're heading for civil war," negotiator Thierry Willez of the FSU union told Le Monde newspaper.
Paris has already agreed that France's labour law and collective agreements reached in metropolitan France will apply in their totality in Mayotte from the 1 January 2018.
Further negotiations will start in May.
An appeal for a mass stoppage on Tuesday was circulating on social media and a demonstration was planned in the main town of Mamoudzou.
Boy detained for stabbing
A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the weekend in connection with the death of a man from mainland France on Friday.
He was one of three people believed to have been involved in ths stabbing of the 38-year-old as he went to fetch his won from a judo class.