7 Nov 2016

France sends more police to New Caledonia

9:00 am on 7 November 2016

France will send an extra 53 police to New Caledonia from February amid top level concern over recent lawlessness in the territory.

The deployment was announced to New Caledonian leaders in Paris at hastily convened talks involving the interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the justice minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas and the overseas minister Ericka Bareigts.

Police have been attacked near Noumea

France will send 53 police to New Caledonia in February next year. Photo: AFP

A government statement said a special unit will be set up to counter youth delinquency.

Mr Urvoas is due in Noumea next month, and Ms Bareigts and Mr Cazeneuve in February to finalise the implementation of the plans.

The French move came amid more unrest on Saturday when the main road south of Noumea was closed for several hours after cars were stoned.

At the end of last month, the same road was blocked for three days with dozens of burned stolen cars after clashes between young Kanaks and the security forces left five officers with gunshot injuries.

There have been no arrests.

Last year, there were 62 attacks with firearms on police in New Caledonia.

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