Things have gotten so out of control in culturally enriched “quarters” of Marseille that a socialist deputy in the French Parliament has called for the government to send the army into the city.
‘It’s not the army’s job to control the [Mohammedan] quarters,’ according to [French president] Hollande
‘It’s not the army’s job to control the quarters.’ Just as [interior minister] Manuel Valls did earlier that same day, the President of the Republic has swept aside a proposal by a socialist deputy from Marseille who had appealed for sending the military to fight against drug trafficking.
The PS [Parti Socialiste] senator and mayor of the city’s 15th and 16th arrondissements, Samia Ghali, spoke out on Thursday, during an interview given to La Provence, after a 25-year-old man was killed Wednesday evening with a burst from a Kalashnikov in the northern neighbourhoods of Marseille. Since the beginning of this year, fourteen persons have been killed in the city during such settling of accounts, and nineteen in the entire Marseille region.
‘The gendarmerie may be present in certain zones, and they are. And it is the job of the police — who, by the way, need to be reinforced at Marseille — to do what is necessary to eradicate this sort of violence, crime and trafficking,’ declared François Hollande during a press conference with the head of the Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy.
On the occasion of a trip through the Paris region dedicated to education, the prime minister [Jean-Marc Ayrault] invoked the necessity to ‘show the government’s determination not to let things drift off course’ in this city. Therefore, the 6 September meeting of an interministerial committee dedicated at the preparation of an ‘action programme for the Marseille metropolitan area.’ ‘It is beyond question that the army should respond to such crime. There is no interior enemy’ at Marseille, asserted the interior minister, who favoured ‘a global response [to crime], deep and strong’ at a press conference.
Later that same day, police sources stated that a new directeur départemental de la sécurité publique (DDSP) will soon be appointed in the Bouches-du-Rhône [département — Marseille etc]. Pierre-Marie Bourniquel, presently the DDSP in the Gironde [département — Bordeaux etc], who earlier held this function in the Alpes-Maritimes [département — Nice etc], will replace Pascal Lalle at Marseille.
‘Today, given the war-style weaponry used by the [criminal] networks, only the army can intervene. Primarily to disarm the dealers. And then to block the clients’ access to the quarters, using roadblocks, as in times of war. Even if this takes a year or two, it needs to be done,’ claims Samia Ghali in La Provence.
‘After another bloody summer, we need to speak up with the truth. I think the authorities do not realise the severity of the situation. The killings following each other at Marseille are becoming a national media attraction,’ deplores the deputy, whose arrondissements have just been classified by the interior minister as belonging to the zones de sécurité prioritaire (ZSP).
For her part, UMP déléguée générale Valérie Rosso-Debord assesses in a communiqué that ‘the statements made by Samia Ghali, who demands that the army be deployed, must make the state react. […] This city does not need symbols, but a real security policy which frees it from the track of delinquency and banditry it is on.’
‘The fact that a socialist deputy demands the army’s intervention in order to fight a war against traffickers says much about the helplessness of the socialist deputies facing the gesticulations and inaction of the Ayrault government [PS government headed by president Hollande] concerning the fight against delinquency and banditry,’ said Bruno Beschizza, national secretary of the UMP [Sarkozy’s conservative party], regarding the use of the forces of order.
The murder committed on Wednesday took place in Marseille’s northern quarters, in the city’s 14th arrondissement. The man was shot shortly after 11 pm on Boulevard Casanova [Google Maps], while riding in a black Twingo driven by a young woman, specified the public prosecutor Jacques Dallest on site.
The couple were waiting at a red light when two passengers of another vehicle shot at the victim from a short distance, riddling him with rounds from a Kalashnikov assault rifle. The driver, who was very shocked, ‘was only slightly injured by grazing shots. It is a miracle she survived,’ emphasised M Dallest.
Some thirty cartridges were found at the crime scene, where police officers began the investigation, protected from curious gazes by a dark blind, gathering the first witness reports. The man, who lived in the northern quarters, ‘was known to the police for various infractions,’ added the prosecutor. According to a source close to the investigation, the victim has been identified and had been specially indicted for activities connected to drug trafficking.
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Security: Hortefeux et Ciotti [both UMP, opposition] denounce governmental policy [which is basically the same as that of UMP and Sarkozy, until recently the president — translator’s remark]
Former interior minister Brice Hortefeux affirmed on Thursday that the government was sending out ‘signals of weakness’ in matters of security, while another UMP responsible, Eric Ciotti, denounced ‘the absence of a guidelines’ by the government.
‘It is wrong to focus on Marseille. In July, all delinquency indicators rose into the red zone, with the exception of one which was financial fraud,’ declared M Hortefeux, questioned by [radio] Europe 1 after the settlement of accounts at Marseille, while distancing himself from sending the army into the city.
‘All summer long interior minister Manuel Valls and justice minister Christiane Taubira have given contradictory speeches which made criminals think that now they could act in total impunity,’ added the Alpes-Maritimes deputy, head of the François Fillon for president UMP campaign.
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.