7 Sep 2017

Suspended jail sentences for five in New Caledonia for Mare clashes

7:17 am on 7 September 2017

Five men in New Caledonia have been given suspended eight-month jail sentences over their role in the fatal clashes on Mare in August 2011.

The fight had left four people dead and more than 20 others wounded.

It broke out between a group blockading the island's airport and another trying to dislodge the rivals.

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes reports that the five admitted to having used a firearm and causing material damage.

The paper said investigations have failed to establish who fired the fatal shots during the clashes.

In late 2011, a Noumea court gave jail terms of up to a year to 18 people for their role in destroying and burning shops and cars.

At the time, more than 140 police and soldiers were sent to Mare to restore calm.