Overseas Guadeloupe: Macron calls situation “very explosive”

Status: 11/22/2021 12:09 p.m.

For weeks there have been violent protests in Guadeloup. France’s corona measures, which also apply on the Caribbean island, are sometimes met with massive resistance. President Macron is concerned about this, but urges vaccination.

French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed concern over the ongoing protests in the overseas territory in Guadeloupe. The situation on the Caribbean island is “very explosive,” he said. Guadeloupe absolutely needs to advance the corona vaccination campaign.

France sent elite troops and counter-terrorism units to Guadeloupe on Sunday. The special forces went to work shortly after their arrival and cleared road blockades, the police said.

Looting and demos against corona measures

For weeks there have been violent demonstrations and looting after mandatory vaccination for all health care workers was introduced. Unions also denounce the Corona pass, which is required for access to restaurants and cafes, cultural sites and sports facilities. The passport is only given to those who have been fully vaccinated against the virus, survived an infection or recently tested negative.

Paris had imposed a night curfew in view of the riots on the Caribbean island on Friday. On Sunday night, police arrested 38 people for violating the requirements. Two security guards were injured when rioters looted and set fire to shops.

Protesters also shot at security forces and firefighters, the authorities said. There are “organized gangs” involved in the unrest. France’s government spokesman Gabriel Attal described the situation as “unbearable and unacceptable” and promised to crack down on a “small minority”.

“We don’t know how far this will go”

There is currently a curfew between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m., initially until Tuesday. By mid-November, around 90 percent of the health workers in Guadeloupe, but only a good 46 percent of all over 18-year-olds, had received at least one vaccine dose. Across France, the general vaccination rate is around 75 percent of the population.

The authorities in Guadeloupe warned of an escalation in the ongoing protests. “We do not know how far that will go,” said the mayor of Pointe-a-Pitre, Harry Durimel, the radio station France Info. According to media reports, rioters broke into a weapons depot in Guadeloupe’s largest city on Sunday and stole rifles in the process. Durimel called on the French government to restore peace to the archipelago.

A general strike against the Corona measures from Paris has been announced for today on the neighboring island of Martinique, also a French overseas territory.


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