French protesters demand justice for a teenager shot by police during a traffic stop French protesters demand justice for a teenager shot by police during a traffic stop  (AFP or licensors)

France's Macron postpones state visit to Germany as unrest spreads

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a state visit to Germany to deal with escalating unrest in his country. The announcement came after more than 1,300 people were arrested across France in a fourth night of rioting sparked by the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy with an African background who was buried Saturday

By Stefan J. Bos  

Much of France has been turned into a war zone. Clashes have continued for a fourth night as anger mounts over the killing by a police officer of 17-year-old Nahel M.

Some 45,000 additional police forces were deployed across France amid widespread violence and looting.

Authorities say more than 1,300 people were detained overnight in France's worst protests in years.

Footage showed protesters throwing fireworks as they clashed with police. The government estimates that so far, 1,350 vehicles and 234 buildings have been set on fire since protests began on Tuesday.

Additionally, there have been 2,560 reported incidents of fires in public spaces.

Protests have been reported in several cities, such as Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Grenoble, and suburbs.

Three police officers were reportedly shot and injured with a rifle in the Rhone region last night in an attack condemned by police and authorities.

Long-standing grievances

The violence underscored long-standing grievances over reported police abuse and racial profiling in the suburbs with large migrant communities.

Critics say Tuesday's killing of Nahel M., a teenager of Algerian and Moroccan descent, was the final push for the violence seen across France.

More tensions were expected following the boy's funeral held Saturday in the western Parisian suburb of Nanterre, where he was shot dead.

As he now faces arguably one of the biggest domestic security challenges in his presidency, President Emmanuel Macron postponed a state visit to Germany.

Macron was expected to arrive in the neighboring country on Sunday for talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on key policy areas.

The French president also intended to visit a state banquet hosted by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin before returning home on Tuesday.

But Macron's spokesperson said the president requested the date be moved due to the unrest in France.

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos

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01 July 2023, 17:42