Arms depot looting amid Covid protests sparks demand for French help — Analysis

After an arms depot was stolen amid unrest, the mayor of the city has appealed to Paris for peace after protests against Covid-19 restrictions placed on Guadeloupe’s French overseas territory.

Speaking to France Info radio on Monday, Pointe-a-Pitre Mayor Harry Durimel said there were “big worries” on the island, as rioters now had guns after the arms depot was broken into on Sunday. According to media reports, rifles were stolen from the depot in the coast city.

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France ships police to island territory gripped by Covid protests

“We just don’t know how far this will still go,”Durimel made these remarks as he called upon France to restore order and peace on the Caribbean island. As he spoke, Durimel said that noises were still being made outside by protesters. 

Following a week of protests by labor unions against Covid-19 restrictions and the introduction mandatory vaccinations for workers in health care, chaos has set in on the island.

Jean Castex, the French Prime Minister meets with Guadeloupe legislators Monday in an attempt to end the crisis. 

With the ongoing protests going on and many streets blocked by rioters, students will not be allowed to attend schools or colleges Monday. Patrick Vial Collet, president of the local chamber, said that more than 80 businesses were looted during the protests. 

France sent around 200 police officers from France to the island, and instituted a night curfew to try to calm the disturbances. 

French media report that unions on Martinique are calling for a general strike. This raises concerns that unrest might spread to other French territories.

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