12 Apr 2006

New Caledonia member asks French for help

8:11 pm on 12 April 2006

A New Caledonian member of the French assembly, Pierre Frogier, has asked the government in Paris to send police reinforcements to the territory to cope with the crisis caused by the vandalism at the Goro nickel construction site.

New Caledonia's only daily newspaper says the request has been made in a letter to the interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the overseas territories minister, Francois Baroin.

Mr Frogier, who is the head of New Caledonia's UMP Rassemblement Party, says the high commission in Noumea cannot maintain a level of security to create a satisfactory situation.

This comes after mobile police were flown in from French Polynesia.

Mr Frogier, whose party lost power two years ago, says the local government should give up the management of the nickel issue when its incompetence leads to the French high commission having to intervene.