The French government is under pressure over its response to gang violence in the city of Dijon, which entered its fourth day on Tuesday.
The clashes started Friday night after a 16-year-old Chechen was reportedly beaten by drug dealers in the city. Since then, revenge raids have been carried out against drug dealers in parts of the city, the capital of the Burgundy region in the east of France. Videos on social media show people roaming the streets wielding machine guns, baseball bats and metal rods.
Cars and garbage cans have been set on fire and a local TV crew was assaulted. So far four people have been arrested, drawing criticism that law enforcement is being too soft.
“I want to send a very clear message to the thugs we saw exhibiting weapons,” said Laurent Nuñez, secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, after meeting with local police leaders on Tuesday. “Our response will be extremely firm.” Some 150 gendarmes were sent to help security forces on Tuesday.
The government is under increasing pressure on law and order after a series of anti-police brutality and anti-racism protests, as well as a protest by medical workers that ended in violent clashes on Tuesday.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen didn’t miss the opportunity to wade into the debate on her favorite issues of security and immigration.
“We no longer know if we are in the Far West or Baghdad, in ‘A Clockwork Orange’ or ‘Mad Max,'” said Le Pen, who denounced the “inertia” and “silence” of authorities.
Pic Credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53036388