New Caledonia Road That Was Blocked After Unrest Reopened

Negotiations between police, community calms tense situation in St Louis area

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 2, 2016) – The main road in New Caledonia which had been blocked since the weekend's unrest has been reopened.

This comes after negotiations between the authorities and people from St Louis to calm the situation.

Clean-up operations were abandoned yesterday when a group of young people stole one of the trucks which has now been returned.

On Sunday, clashes between armed youths and police near St Louis left six police officers injured and prompted the authorities to keep the road closed while trying to negotiate a resolution.

The unrest was triggered after police fatally shot a prison escapee from St Louis in the early hours of Saturday.

The road closure between Noumea and Mont-Dore left more than 10,000 people without normal deliveries of food, medicines and fuel.

The unrest was triggered after police fatally shot a prison escapee from St Louis in the early hours of Saturday.

Police say they acted in self-defence when they shot the escapee because he tried to run over a policeman in a stolen vehicle.

[PIR editor's note: On Nov. 2, 2016 RNZI reported that 'The family of a man killed in New Caledonia at the weekend at a police checkpoint has challenged prosecution claims the police were acting in self defence. ... The Grand Chief of the area on the outskirts of the capital Noumea Roch Wamytan says witnesses saw the incident and steps would be taken to find out the truth by filing a complaint against the state.']

Another group of young people briefly blocked the main road from Noumea to the airport in the north of the city, dumping burned cars and firing guns.

The only person arrested so far is one of the men who was in the stolen vehicle on Saturday.

Radio New Zealand International
Copyright © 2016 RNZI. All Rights Reserved

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