3 Feb 2017

Rally planned in New Caledonia over road plagued with violence

6:35 am on 3 February 2017

A demonstration is planned outside the French High Commission in New Caledonia today to express concern over the lack of security south of Noumea.

People travelling on the road past St Louis have in recent months been targetted by gunmen, prompting police to repeatedly close it.

In the latest attacks, on Sunday night, bullets pierced the armour of police vehicles and injured two officers.

Thousands of people, who live south of Noumea, have had again their movements restricted because police this week closed the only access road at night for security reasons.

The rally is being organised by a citizens' group and has the support of several politicians and employers groups.

They want arms to be removed.

The French interior minister Bruno Le Roux has said the insecurity is not allowed to continue.

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