More arrests expected in New Caledonia after Noumea clashes

Posted at 03:31 on 18 January, 2008 UTC

Police in New Caledonia are expected to make more arrests following Thursday’s clashes between security forces and those supporting the USTKE union which has been on strike at a Noumea bus depot.

45 people were arrested during hours of clashes which left nine members of the security forces injured while more than 10 USTKE supporters were hurt when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to dislodge them.

Several cars were burnt, including police vehicles, and footage from the incidents is now being used to track down more people suspected of involvement in the violence.

Local reports say among those detained were 10 women and a minor.

A meeting has been held this morning between the French high commissioner, who instigated the police raid, and the head of the USTKE union, but neither of them has commented to the media.

The strike at the Carsud bus depot was called in support of a union demand to have a sacked worker reinstated.


1 comment:

Ana said...

New Caledonia rioters to appear in court tomorrow

Posted at 22:44 on 20 January, 2008 UTC

A court in New Caledonia is scheduled to sentence 13 men tomorrow for their role in last week’s clashes with police.

The 13 were among 45 people arrested in Noumea during Thursday’s violence which left nine policemen and more than 10 union supporters injured as police used tear gas and rubber bullets.

The police action was aimed at clearing striking workers of the USTKE union from a plot of land owned by the southern province and next to a bus company locked in an industrial dispute.

The 13 are accused of joining an armed mob after being ordered to disperse and of assaulting members of the security forces as well as damaging public property.

The Noumea clashes saw police vehicles set on fire and buses vandalised.

USTKE supporters protested territory-wide in support of their Nouema colleagues last week and according to local press reports a plane was prevented from landing on the island of Ouvea.