Mayotte is an insular department and region of France officially named Département de Mayotte. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa, between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique.
The island was populated from neighbouring East Africa with later arrival of Arabs, who brought the Islamic religion. A sultanate was established in 1500. In the 19th century, Mayotte was conquered by Andriantsoly, former king of Ibonia on on Madagascar, and later by the neighbouring islands Mohéli and then Anjouan before being purchased by France in 1841. The people of Mayotte voted to remain politically a part of France in the 1974 referendum. Mayotte became an overseas department on 31 March 2011 and became an outermost region of the European Union on 1 January 2014, following a 2009 referendum with an overwhelming result in favour of the department status.