8 Feb 2017

New moves to secure New Caledonia road

1:44 pm on 8 February 2017

The government of New Caledonia's southern province plans to clear vegetation along a troubled main road as part of measures to end attacks on travellers and police.

no caption

Photo: AFP

It has given a contract worth almost one million US dollars to a company from St Louis to remove potential hiding places for those who throw rocks and fire guns at the road users near St Louis.

The road near St Louis, which connects Noumea and the territory's south, was re-opened for night-time traffic on Monday after being closed for a week because unidentified gunmen shot and injured three police officers.

The High Commission has also ordered the deployment of armoured police vehicles to be able to intervene at any time.

It has also set up a psychological support unit to assist those traumatised by the attacks.

A helicopter service has been put in place to fly patients should there be another road block.

This follows a formal complaint by a heart attack patient who wasn't being immediately helped because no ambulance could reach her.

The latest period of unrest near St Louis began in October when an unarmed prison escapee driving a stolen car was shot dead.

Since then 11 people have been imprisoned.

The High Commission says some gunmen want to kill a police officer by using combat weapons to achieve their goal.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs