Conflicts with France
Foreign relations between France and Madagascar have been strained since Madagascar's independence. The years of oppression of the Malagasy people by the Colonial policyThe exploitation and sometimes severe mistreatment of the natives has left its mark on their cultural memory. With independence, the inhabitants of the island state were finally able to develop national pride and their own understanding of their nation. Only the Iles Ésparses - in German: scattered islands -. are still the national property of France. The islands thus still have the status of French overseas territories and are supported by a corresponding French prefects administered. Most of the islands may not even be entered without a special permit. Madagascar has been trying for decades to incorporate the islands into its own state system, but has met with the greatest resistance from France. France uses the islands as a location for meteorological research and also houses there military baseswhich the country does not want to give up under any circumstances. Only recently, the French government has reaffirmed what it claims is its rightful claim to ownership through public statements. The Protests of the Malagasy have been and will be disregarded in the process. Les Iles éparses and the island of Madagascar have always been united by an grueling history. A settlement of the conflicts does not seem to be in the near future.
Threat to unique ecosystems
This issue is particularly explosive because some of the islands could hold attractive mineral resources. Only recently Oil and natural gas deposits on the island Juan de Nova discovered. France holds the mining rights for this. This development in particular must be considered extremely risky from the perspective of nature conservationists: Many of the Iles éparses harbor unique ecosystems and require special protection of this. Now, when mineral resources are mined on a large scale, these areas are Acutely threatened. For many bird colonies and also sea turtles this means the inevitable demise.
Most of the Iles éparses are so small that they were previously considered uninhabited. Only the island Tromelin once housed people for a long time in the course of history. After a shipwreck, however, they landed on the inhospitable island rather involuntarily and had to endure almost inhumane conditions until they were rescued. To some extent, it is still not clear how the people were able to survive on the island.