France’s elite RAID police unit, has arrested five Chechens after four nights of gang violence in the city of Dijon, according to the attorney general’s office and a police source.
On Thursday, the announcement of the arrest came nearly a week after violence erupted in the end of the day Friday, when dozens of young Chechens from all over France came to Dijon suburb of Gresilles.
Eric Mathias, Dijon, attorney, city of allegations that the Chechens had issued a national call for retaliation against the North African community in Gresilles on social media, after blaming them for an initial attack on a Chechen teenager.
The French government has sent police reinforcements and the Minister of the Interior, Laurent Nunez, Dijon, Tuesday, to calm down the clashes, which left several people injured and cars burnt.
“Sad sequence “
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has also visited Dijon, to urge the most severe of the action.
“It is not just a matter of putting himself between the two communities, but to put an end to this sad sequence, without showing the slightest weakness,” she told journalists.
|The France strengthens the police, to Dijon, to stop the gang violence (1:22)|
The socialist mayor of Dijon, François Rebsamen, has criticized what he has seen of the inadequacy of police deployment over the weekend.
“That justice comes too late and the police do not have the means, the Chechen community has decided to take the law into his own hands,” he said.
The regional prefect Bernard Schmeltz – the top local representative of the state – defended the absence of forceful intervention by the security forces. The tactic of encirclement used “was the only practice of the strategy,” he says.
“The inhabitants have not been left abandoned,” he added, in response to criticism of the security force of the apparent passivity.
Schmeltz says that the last incidents of the night of Monday to Tuesday have been because of Dijon’s residents and non-members of the Chechen community.
Chechnya is a Russian republic in the North Caucasus. Two wars in the 1990s, has triggered a wave of emigration, with many Chechens in the position to Western Europe.
More Chechens have leaked into exile in recent years, because of disagreements with the strong man pro-Kremlin leader of the region, Ramzan Kadyrov, who rights activists accused of several offences.
There are no precise figures on the number of Chechens living in France as they are included with other Russian passport holders. There are communities in Paris, around Nice in the south and in the east of France.