17 Nov 2016

New Caledonia road blocks irk locals

2:09 pm on 17 November 2016

An estimated 300 people have held a street meeting in New Caledonia amid concern for their safety after repeated attacks along the main road south of Noumea.

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

French police officers stand guard on a road near Noumea in 2014 after angry Saint Louis residents burned cars creating roadblocks. Photo: AFP

The local newspaper says they plan to form an association to take legal action against the French state over the inconvenience caused by repeated road blocks and clashes near St Louis.

In Paris, a New Caledonian member of the French National Assembly Philippe Gomes has called on the French authorities to arrest, judge and jail the gunmen and assailants who he says are known to the police.

Philippe Gomes

Philippe Gomes Photo: AFP

There has been no arrest over the clashes during which five policemen suffered gun shot injuries and dozens of stolen vehicles were set alight to block the road.

One political party has called for the military to secure the area.

The overseas minister Ericka Bareigts has replied to Mr Gomes, saying of the many initiatives being rolled out for New Caledonia three projects, worth $US four million, were aimed at addressing youth delinquency in St Louis.

She also restated that in February an extra 53 police would be sent to New Caledonia.

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