the bush fears being swept away by violence and clings to “living together” | EUROtoday

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The navy helicopter circles above Bourail on the morning of Saturday May 25, attracting frightened seems from market prospects. Will the police intervene on the pro-independence roadblock positioned on the northern exit of the small rural city of New Caledonia? “This would be the worst time, it’s much too early”, Judge Steave Novella. Large salt and pepper beard and lightweight blue eyes, bottles of honey in his arms, this fifty-year-old entrepreneur affirms that“it would be better to discuss”. Because right here ” in countryside “, 160 km north of Nouméa, “Things are going well and we wouldn’t want to see violence happen”.

Steave Novella, a resident of Bourail (New Caledonia), May 25, 2024. Steave Novella, a resident of Bourail (New Caledonia), May 25, 2024.

Since the outbreak of the riot on May 13, the west coast of Grande Terre has lived in anxious rigidity. Gas stations, put up places of work, faculties, pharmacies and outlets are closed, and the cities show the calm of Sundays within the countryside. But too little life animates them for the ambiance to be described as serene.

After the massive metropolis, Nouméa, will the bush, which was the middle of gravity of the “events” of 1984-1988, catch hearth in its flip? The query of the contagion of the riot is on everybody's minds, after Emmanuel Macron's go to to the territory on Thursday May 23. The day after the bulletins of a head of state who got here to guarantee that he “would not pass by force” on the reform of the electoral physique, however reiterated that he’ll go “in the referendum” if vital, a seventh demise is to be deplored close to Nouméa. The resumption of the neighborhoods barricaded by the rioters – Nouville, Kaméré, Magenta, Espérance or Tuband – is launched, in a local weather of warfare.

Read additionally | Article reserved for our subscribers In New Caledonia, after Emmanuel Macron's go to, pro-independence neighborhoods stay mobilized

Leaving Nouméa to achieve Bourail remained very tough on Friday May 24. Around the neighborhoods held by independence activists or rioters, the roadblocks drive motorists into an infinite gymkhana. Blocked, the Savexpress, which serves the municipalities of Dumbéa and Païta. Charred vehicles, bitumen impregnated with melted scrap metallic, acrid smoke… Barred, the Iron Gates. The Montravel roundabout too, from the place we are able to see the Le Froid manufacturing unit destroyed ten days earlier, nonetheless smoking. Forced U-turn, on the junction of Montravel and Ducos, the massive industrial space attacked and pillaged.

In the Le Froid drinks factory, in Nouméa, destroyed by fire, May 23, 2024. In the Le Froid drinks factory, in Nouméa, destroyed by fire, May 23, 2024.

In the Magenta district, a beforehand cleared dam has reappeared, and the Normandy provincial street stays fully closed. In Païta, younger people who find themselves stoned have the trunks opened for a careless search. Dumbéa stays within the grip of palpable rigidity. The driver asks in all places, from the CRS who maintain a place on a bridge, or from the activists at a roundabout who greet passers-by beneath the green-blue-red colours of Kanaky: “It’s going higher, is that good?” »

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