Essonne’s rapper, revelation of the year 2015 with his title “Freestyle PSG”, is at the center of a controversy on the other side of the globe. Indeed, fights and crowd movements ruined Niska’s concert on Saturday night in Mamoudzou, Mayotte, an island often shaken by violence, before escalating into a riot, resulting in a dozen minor injuries, we learned from police sources. On the images on social networks, we can hear Évry’s rapper interrupt his performance and ask the “guys to stop the dirt”.
About 8,000 spectators gathered in a town square to attend the concert of the musician adored by most of the island’s youth, where almost half of the population is underage. About 2,000 remained outside the security perimeter set up around the scene.
Midway through the concert, a brawl broke out in the audience that caused crowd movements that resulted in a dozen minor injuries. Some spectators were targeted by stones thrown by groups that came to fight.
“Used to things that degenerated very quickly, people were very scared and created a huge crowd movement, it spread like a wave, from the center to the outside, from all sides,” explained Laurent Simonin, director territorial of the national police of Mayotte.
A territory marked by outbursts of violence
“I really thought I was going to die,” testified Eïcha, 17, who came with her high school friends to see the rapper who recently starred in the Netflix series “New School”. A shower of tear gas fell on the crowd that dispersed to flee, take refuge or, for some, erect roadblocks and set them on fire.
A dozen cars were vandalized and the street furniture went up in smoke. At least 10 checkpoints were erected, held by groups of 20-40 people who threw stones and concrete irons at the police. After nearly two hours of fighting, two people were arrested.
Six other people were arrested in prime time near the concert, including four armed with knives and brass knuckles, and one is implicated in an assassination attempt, according to Laurent Simonin. Three young men were also found in possession of Molotov cocktails.
Mayotte, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, is regularly shaken by outbursts of violence between rival gangs or against the police, when they intervene to put an end to it. In February, exasperated residents had blocked access to their neighborhood for several days and tried to obstruct traffic routes.
In 2021, the Mamoudzou prosecutor’s office recorded a 25% increase in reports for criminal acts in Mayotte and 21% for minor offenses.