23 Oct 2017

New Caledonia woes worry French police

7:10 am on 23 October 2017

New Caledonia has been named among the three French overseas territories which especially worry the police command because of increasing violence and tense situations.

This has been disclosed by the force's director general Richard Lizurey in testimony to the defence commission of the French National Assembly.

Mr Lizurey said since last October 20 officers in New Caledonia have suffered gun shot wounds which is the highest number in any part of the national territory.

French police officers stand guard on a road in Mont-Dore, a suburb of Noumea, in New Caledonia, on May 28, 2014, while a tow lifts the wreckage of a burned car. Angry residents from the Saint Louis tribal group burned cars creating roadblocks on May 24, 2014

Photo: AFP

He said all elements existed for a situation which had been known before - a reference to the troubles of the 1980s.

In view of next year's independence referendum, he said tensions would only worsen.

Mr Lizurey said the most worrying territory was Mayotte which he said was a social bomb that would explode.

Another area of concern is French Guyana where he said troops might have to be sent to contain lawlessness as poor people simply tried to get money where it could be found.

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