A tenth death in New Caledonia: what we know

A tenth death in New Caledonia: what we know
A tenth death in New Caledonia: what we know

A 38-year-old man, nephew of the leader of the New Caledonian Congress, was killed on Wednesday July 10 east of Noumea in an exchange of fire with the gendarmes, bringing to 10 the number of deaths in the violence that has shaken the archipelago since mid-May.

We take stock of how events unfolded.

Follow the full coverage

The 8 p.m. news

The deceased man was from the Saint-Louis tribe, a stronghold of the Kanak independence faction. The events took place this Wednesday morning, during an operation to unblock the RP1, the only road that connects the south to the rest of New Caledonia. The gendarmes saw four armed men taking refuge inside the church of the Saint-Louis mission, according to the public prosecutor of Noumea, Yves Dupas.

“One of them was seen carrying a long weapon, at a window on the upper level of the building,” he said. The man allegedly fired in the direction of the gendarmes positioned several hundred meters away.One of the gendarmes used his service weapon in a response action,” detailed the prosecutor. From a distance, the policeman fatally hit one of the armed men.

Two investigations opened

The 38-year-old victim is a pro-independence figure. Targeted by a search warrant, he is suspected of having participated in several carjackings, car thefts accompanied by threats and/or violence against the driver. He is also the nephew of the leader of the congress, Roch Wamytan. Two investigations have been opened by the prosecution, one for attempted murder of a person in a position of public authority, the second for intentional violence resulting in death without the intention of causing it.

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This is the tenth death since the violence began two months ago. Saint-Louis is one of the last blockages. The residents, themselves, are isolated. “We only have one lane, and when we drive on this lane, we either get carjacked or attacked. Today, we are unsafe, and above all we are unable to go to work.”says Florent, a resident interviewed in the report at the top of this article. Tensions are still high on the island. The 8 p.m. curfew is in place until at least July 15.


MT | TF1 report: Léa Merlier, Flora Monbec and Keziah Cretin

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