France sending more security forces to Guadeloupe amid unrest

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French ministers for overseas territories hold talks in Guadeloupe amid days of protests over COVID restrictions.

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France is sending additional security forces to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, as the country’s minister for overseas territories met with union leaders to try to ease days of unrest over COVID-19 restrictions.

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one in Statement On Monday, Sebastian Lecornu said he met with four union representatives, who handed him a list of their demands. But the ministry said union leaders failed to condemn the recent violence, including attacks on police and other security officials.

“The condition of the dialogue is for all political and trade unions to condemn violence and, in particular, attempted murder”, the statement said.

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Protesters in Guadeloupe and neighboring Martinique have erected barricades and blocked roads this month as anger grew over an order in mainland France also requiring health workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

France on Friday postponed the mandatory vaccination requirement until December 31 to allow talks.

“If the law of the republic applies to all French departments, and therefore to Guadeloupe and Martinique, the details of its application must be adapted to the health and social situation of these two regions,” the health ministry announced in a statement. Speed.

But unrest continues, and later on Monday, Lecornu said 70 additional officers as well as 10 more members of a special SWAT-like unit would be deployed to Guadeloupe by Tuesday to help respond to the situation.

There have been several arrests in Guadeloupe and Martinique since the protests began.

Police were also fired upon last week in Martinique, where a coalition of 17 trade union organizations this month launched a general strike to protest the COVID-19 restrictions. They are also demanding wage hike and lower gas prices.

Martinique and Guadeloupe, the islands of 375,000 and 400,000 people respectively, are considered formal parts of France, whose residents hold French citizenship and are allocated representation in the French National Assembly.

But the region suffers from higher poverty and unemployment rates than mainland France, and the protests have shed a light on local anger with the French government over wider issues.

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