27 May 2014

New Caledonia road block problems persist

3:10 pm on 27 May 2014

A Mont Dore resident in New Caledonia says demonstrators are still intermittently blocking the road to Noumea and throwing stones at cars trying to pass.

The blockades were set up with burning tyres on Saturday by those calling for the Goro nickel processing plant's permanent closure.

Operations at the Vale plant have been suspended for almost three weeks because of an acid spill.

Tuo Chinula says most people from Mont Dore haven't been able to go into work this morning.

She says even if the road is temporarily opened, there is a risk it will be closed again after nightfall when people are returning from work, which could lead to a dangerous situation.

"The demonstrators were throwing stones at cars, pretty big stones, breaking windows and windscreens. Most people had decided to go back rather than risk going past even though the riot police are there in quite large numbers actually."

A Mont Dore resident, Tuo Chinula.

Meanwhile, police have reportedly arrested 13 people after a minivan was deliberately driven into a police vehicule.

Reports say they arrested its 11 occupants, including the handicapped driver, as well as two people throwing rocks.