vast law enforcement operation in the archipelago, after six deaths in the riots

On Sunday May 19, the French state launched a vast law enforcement operation in New Caledonia. This operation “with more than 600 gendarmes” aims “to fully regain control of the 60 km main road between Nouméa and the airport”announced the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, in a message on “the republican order [serait] restored, whatever the cost.” “I want to say to the rioters: stop, return to calm, surrender your weapons”, added Louis Le Franc during a press briefing broadcast on Nouvelle-Calédonie La 1ère. Follow our live stream.

Middle and high schools closed next week. All public and private middle and high schools in New Caledonia will remain closed from Tuesday May 21 to Friday May 24, the New Caledonia government announced. Concerning primary schools, municipalities and provinces will communicate directly on their operating methods, explains the press release. Classes will not resume “only when all security conditions are met”details the text. “This period will be used to develop the best scenarios for a resumption of teaching activities integrating all material, human and psychological dimensions.” Since Tuesday and until now, only schools in Nouméa have been closed.

Containers received in Nouméa. “An operation to take charge of 103 containers of food and medicines was carried out by the regional customs directorate at the autonomous port of Nouméa”, announced the High Commission in New Caledonia on Sunday. While several roadblocks have been erected by opponents of the constitutional reform aimed at expanding the electoral body for provincials, “State services are mobilized to ensure the delivery of these products”adds the High Commission.

New example of disturbances in the night. According to Nouvelle-Calédonie La 1ère, the media library in the Rivière salée district, in Nouméa, was set on fire. Questioned by AFP, Nouméa town hall responded on Sunday morning that the district is “inaccessible”. The mayor of the city, Sonia Lagarde (Renaissance), estimated on Saturday on BFMTV that the situation was “far from a return to appeasement”. “Can we say that we are in a besieged city? Yes, I think we can say that”she added.

The death toll is six. The violence left six dead, the latest on Saturday afternoon, a Caldoche (Caledonian of European origin) in Kaala-Gomen, in the North province. The other five dead are two gendarmes and three Kanak civilians, in the Nouméa metropolitan area.

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