COVID-19 unrest has created an “explosive” situation in Guadeloupe, according to Macron – .

COVID-19 unrest has created an “explosive” situation in Guadeloupe, according to Macron – .

POINTE-A-PITRE, Guadeloupe, November 22 (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron has said violence in Guadeloupe over COVID-19 restrictions has created a “very explosive” situation, as a general strike is entered a second week on Monday and many stores remained closed. after the night looting.

Hours before Prime Minister Macron and the legislators of the Caribbean archipelago held crisis talks in Paris, signs of protest spread to Martinique, another French overseas territory 190 km away ( 120 miles) south of Guadeloupe.

Unrest erupted last week over COVID restrictions imposed by Paris, including mandatory vaccination of health workers and health pass rules, but they also revealed deeper dissatisfaction over relations between certain territories in overseas and mainland France.

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“We must explain, explain, explain and convince, convince, convince, because we must not play with the health of people,” Macron told reporters in northern France.

France has deployed 200 additional police officers, including elite police commandos, to Guadeloupe to quell the unrest.

The streets of Guadeloupe’s main town, Point-à-Pitre, were unusually quiet on Monday after a fourth consecutive night of less intense unrest than on previous nights. Burned cars and debris littered the streets and most stores remained closed.

Local police arrested several dozen people and food stores and pharmacies were looted. French media reported on Sunday that rioters broke into a weapons depot in Pointe-à-Pitre and took guns.

“We do not know how far it will go yet,” said the mayor of Point-à-Pitre to France Info radio.

Guadeloupe has already been hit by violent protests, but he said there were “big concerns” on the island now because the rioters had guns. Schools were closed on Monday.

In Martinique, roads around some of the main commercial and industrial areas were blocked by trucks at sunrise as unionized workers responded to a call to strike, local media reported.

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Reporting by Ricardo Arduengo in Point-à-Pitre, Tassilo Hummel and Richard Lough in Paris; Editing by Christian Lowe and Giles Elgood

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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