“calmer” situation this Friday but certain neighborhoods remain to be “recovered”

“calmer” situation this Friday but certain neighborhoods remain to be “recovered”
“calmer” situation this Friday but certain neighborhoods remain to be “recovered”

They must make it possible to “reconquer all the spaces in the urban area (of Nouméa) that we have lost, and that it is up to us to take back,” he continued. The State representative spoke of “three zones”, disadvantaged neighborhoods of greater Nouméa populated mainly by indigenous people: Kaméré, Montravel and part of “Vallée du Tir”, where “hundreds of rioters” are, according to him, searching “contact with the police” and to continue their “abuses”.

Arrival of reinforcements

In a press release published a few hours earlier, Friday morning, the High Commission sought to be more reassuring. “The state of emergency has made it possible, for the first time since Monday, to return to a calmer and more peaceful situation in greater Nouméa, despite the fires in a school and two businesses,” he said. The night from Thursday to Friday was “marked by the arrival of reinforcements sent” from France, added the same Source.

The government had announced a few hours earlier the dispatch of a thousand internal security personnel, in addition to the 1,700 members of the police already on site. The army was also deployed to secure the territory’s ports and airport, now under the state of emergency declared by the government on Wednesday evening. The ban on gatherings, the transport of weapons and the sale of alcohol, as well as the curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. remain in force.

A suspect surrendered

Louis Le Franc added that a homicide suspect had “surrendered”, without specifying his identity or the case concerned. Five people have died since the riots began on Monday: two men aged 20 and 36, a 17-year-old girl and two gendarmes. The first, aged 22, was shot in the head on Wednesday. The second, aged 45, was the victim of an “accidental shooting” Thursday morning, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. The situation on the archipelago “remains very tense, with looting, riots, fires, attacks which are obviously unbearable and unspeakable,” said Gabriel Attal on Thursday afternoon (Paris time).

The head of government had indicated that “a criminal circular” would be published by the Minister of Justice to “guarantee the heaviest sanctions against rioters and looters”. Gabriel Attal will receive in Matignon, with Gérald Darmanin on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Paris time, the parliamentary liaison committees on New Caledonia for an “exchange” on the crisis. Before this meeting, Gabriel Attal will chair a third interministerial crisis unit at 8 a.m. Finally, after the failure of a videoconference attempt between President Emmanuel Macron and Caledonian elected officials “not wishing to dialogue with each other at the moment”, according to the Élysée, these discussions should take place on Friday.

In the urban area of ​​Nouméa, in recent nights, some residents have erected makeshift barricades made of wooden pallets, cans and other wheelbarrows, on which they have planted white flags. According to Gérald Darmanin, the police carried out numerous arrests and “ten mafia leaders” of the CCAT, the most radical independence movement, were placed under house arrest.

Time of “mourning”

It published a press release on Friday asking “everyone to respect the time of mourning”, namely “a time of appeasement to stop the escalation of violence”. Gérald Darmanin also denounced the interference of Azerbaijan, where several Caledonian independence leaders have traveled in recent months. “Unfounded” accusations, according to Baku. In New Caledonia, the social network TikTok, used by rioters, is banned until further notice. It was mainly the urban area of ​​Nouméa which fell prey to the violence.

The rioters “live with the feeling of being excluded, anger, failure” and are “without political conscience”, estimated Daniel Goa, the president of the independence party Caledonian Union (UC). These riots have already caused damage worth 200 million euros, according to the president of the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). The deputies adopted the constitutional reform on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in Paris which ignited the powder. This text will still have to be voted on by parliamentarians meeting in Congress, unless an agreement on a global text between separatists and loyalists occurs beforehand.

Food shortages

The voted text aims to expand the electorate in provincial elections. Supporters of independence believe that this modification risks reducing their electoral weight and marginalizing “even more the indigenous Kanak people”. In Nouméa, food shortages are causing very long queues in front of stores.

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