29 Nov 2016

New Caledonia insecurity prompts protest

2:34 pm on 29 November 2016
Police officers guard the road in Mont-Dore, to the south of New Caledonia's capital, Noumea. The road is frequently closed by armed protesters.

Police officers guard the road in Mont-Dore, to the south of New Caledonia's capital, Noumea. The road is frequently closed by armed protesters. Photo: AFP

There has been a rally south of Noumea to express frustration at the lack of security along a stretch of the main road in New Caledonia's very south.

About 100 people took part in the meeting while in the town of Yate residents blocked the road in a solidarity protest, preventing buses from taking workers to their jobs.

Residents in the south are in uproar because in recent weeks gunmen have repeatedly blocked the main road - once for three days when they clashed with police and shot five of them.

The latest protest follows an incident last Wednesday when gunmen stopped and stole several vehicles and then set one of them on fire.

The violence has been widely condemned but nobody has been arrested for the shooting or the thefts.