The Les Loyalistes coalition called for demonstrations
Saturday in Noumea as violence has been taking hold for five days in New Caledonia over the controversial sale of the nickel plant of the Brazilian group Vale.
"We must put an end to the current situation, return to dialogue.
Acts that can be described as terrorists took place at the southern factory yesterday, ”
the vice-president of the southern province, Philippe Blaise, one of the leaders of the Loyalists, told reporters on Friday 11 December.
Read also: New Caledonia: the sale of a nickel factory provokes the ire of the separatists
The majority non-independence coalition called for a march on Saturday morning.
"to demonstrate that we want to regain our freedoms"
The route of the event includes a passage in front of the gates of the High Commission of the Republic, representative of the French State, in Nouméa.
“I have the feeling that Caledonians of all stripes are living in fear today.
We must collectively show our will to come out, ”
also declared Thierry Santa, president of the Caledonian government and of the Rassemblement-LR.
Almost insurrectional climate
An almost insurrectionary climate has settled in several points of New Caledonia since Monday, due to fires of cars and a service station, roadblocks, urban violence and destruction of public facilities, carried out by activists from the
“southern factory: country factory” collective
, from the Indigenous Customary Negotiating Body (ICAN), supported by the separatists of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS).
They oppose the sale announced Wednesday of the nickel plant of the Brazilian Vale to a Caledonian and international consortium in which the commodity trader Trafigura participates, which according to them consecrates
"the stranglehold of multinationals over the country's wealth".
To read also: New Caledonia: how to explain the independence push?
On Thursday, the violence escalated when the industrial site was stormed by militants in trucks and the gendarmes, equipped with armored vehicles, fired live ammunition to repel them, said the High Commission for the Republic.
Some 300 employees of this factory, classified as high industrial risk, were evacuated before all its facilities - power plant, sulfuric acid plant and autoclaves - were shut down.
The site was placed under the protection of the police.
Friday morning, traffic on several roads was still disturbed by roadblocks and counter-roadblocks of exasperated residents.