On Wednesday January 19, police arrested several leaders of the CCAT*.  The CCAT is an offshoot of the Union Calédonienne, the main pro-independence party. The courts are investigating the role played by the CCAT in the riots that have been devastating Nouméa for the past month. Eight of the organization’s leaders have been arrested, including its spokesman, Christian Tein, who has been taken into custody for questioning by investigators.

The investigation concerns very serious offences: armed robbery, arson, conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, etc.  Police custody at the gendarmerie can last up to 96 hours. Those arrested were interviewed with their lawyers.

These arrests required a large number of gendarmes and police officers on the ground. This led to traffic jams in the city center.

The question now is whether these arrests will provoke further riots.

*Field action coordination unit