NDDL: start of clearing operations on the ZAD

The security forces blocked road access to the ZAD Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) Thursday morning to allow the clearing of "squats" destroyed the previous days, did we learned from the gendarmerie.

Road access to the former "deferred development zone" (ZAD), renamed "area to defend" by opponents of the airport project, were closed to traffic Thursday morning, AFP journalists found.

The roads were blocked to allow the maneuvering of heavy vehicles and vehicles, according to the gendarmerie.

The squadrons of mobile gendarmes present on the zone were indeed attached to secure the clearing of "squats" destroyed since Monday morning. "It is a question of allowing the competitors (companies of BTP, ed) to evacuate the piles of waste in complete safety", indicated the gendarmerie.

No evacuation or expulsion was in course Thursday morning, according to the same source. "The night has been calm," according to the police, which has counted only three casualties in his ranks.

No clash took place on the area Thursday morning, noted journalists from AFP, a atmosphere strongly contrasting with the clashes of the last three days.

A gendarmerie helicopter and a drone flew over the ZAD. Some people were gathered on barricades around the locality of the "Real Reds", theater Wednesday violent clashes, according to the same source.

Only incident to report, a barricade of tires was ignited on the national road 165 thursday morning around 07:00, causing traffic jams between Nantes and Vannes in both directions of traffic.

The expulsion operation, started Monday at dawn, mobilizes about 2,500 gendarmes and aims to restore order in this part of the world. bocage nantais, called "zone no law" by the government.

On Wednesday, the gendarmes launched a massive charge against the opponents, the largest since the beginning of their intervention Monday at dawn. Thirteen new "squats" were evacuated in the day "is 29 in total since the beginning of the operation", according to the prefect of the Pays-de-la-Loire Nicole Klein. Twenty-six "squats" were destroyed and three were "in the process of destruction" Wednesday night, according to the same source.

Monday, the Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb had evoked forty "buildings" to destroy on the ZAD and a "hundred" people to dislodge

Authorities have identified 97 "squats" or "places of life" according to the Zadist terminology. The prefect had assured that no "hard" housing would be destroyed.

On January 17, by ending the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project, Prime Minister Philippe had promised to eradicate the "no law zone".

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: start of eviction operations

A vast expulsion operation, with several hundred mobile gendarmes deployed, began Monday at dawn in Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) to dislodge the illegal occupants of the ZAD, nearly three months after the abandonment of the airport project, resulting in some clashes.

"From 6am this morning, under the authority of the prefect of Loire-Atlantique, the national gendarmerie will begin an operation of expulsion of illegal occupants of land in the area of ​​Notre-Dame-des-Landes", the Ministry of Interior announced in a statement.

"The operation (…) comes to execute court decisions to proceed with the expulsion of the most radical occupants," says the ministry. It aims to dislodge "a hundred" of people, and will be maintained "as long as it is necessary", said on Europe 1 the Minister of the Interior Gérard Collomb.

The main accesses to the road 281, the Ex-road chicanes and symbol of the "return to the rule of law" were blocked by the gendarmes before 04H00 in the north and from 03H30 in the south, found the AFP.

The Loire-Atlantique Prefect, Nicole Klein, was there

Clashes erupted between "zadistes" and mobile gendarmes, who fired tear gas and stun grenades in response to projectile jets.

] Several car wrecks were completely overturned on the sides, on and by the side of the road, AFP found. Still smoking tires and barricades strewed the edges of the area.

The journalists were kept out of the way once the operation began.

A very important device of mobile gendarmes was mobilized, with queues of trucks parked on one side of the road, fires lit under the fog.

"It starts," an occupier told AFP. "They make summons, they saw the barricades."

A first arrest took place after projectiles fired, according to sources close to the file. A gendarme was wounded following a rocket fire and suffers from a retinal detachment, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

– Calls for resistance –

"These evictions are illegal", said a occupant of the ZAD calling himself "Camille" to AFP. "It is unacceptable that the state is driving people out of their homes, we are calling on all people to resist supporting us and joining local gatherings, we were in a peaceful negotiation with the prefecture in search of collective solutions."

This large-scale operation, planned over several days, is expected to mobilize a total of twenty-five squadrons of mobile gendarmerie, or about 2,500 soldiers. It plans to expel anyone who has not regularized its situation, for example by declaring new individual agricultural projects, and to dismantle some of the 97 squats identified by the authorities.

Almost all 250 zadists estimated on the spot did not do so, preferring collective management of the territory and the possibility of carrying out non-agricultural projects.

On January 17, by putting an end to this fifty-year-old project, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had promised to end to the "no law zone" on the ZAD.

Faced with what they call a "government hurricane", occupiers in the ZAD warned they would lead "physical and determined resistance."

Calls for reinforcements have been launched in recent days to set up barricades, organize food and food supplies, a "hybrid force" claimed by the occupation movement.

Acipa, the main association of opponents of the former airport project, called on the state "not to initiate the process of expulsions and violence" and to privilege "dialogue", while by reaffirming its opposition to possible blockades of roads by the zadistes.

They also call for rallies at 18:00 in Nantes and Rennes and converge Sunday on the ZAD to rebuild the destroyed habitats.

The operation started on Monday is the first of magnitude since autumn 2012. This last attempt at mass evacuation of occupants, called "Operation César", had turned into a fiasco despite the mobilization of more than a thousand gendarmes and policemen.

aag-alh-asl-grd / hdu / GVY / shu

Anger after the start of construction of a railway in Nairobi Park

Kenyan environment advocates expressed outrage Thursday after the start of construction of a railway line in Nairobi National Park, despite a court ruling ordering the suspension of the project

This railway line, which is to connect Nairobi to Naivasha in the Rift Valley, then perhaps to Uganda and other countries in the region, is an extension of the one linking the capital to Mombasa. , Indian Ocean.

Inaugurated in May 2017, it was the largest infrastructure project completed in Kenya since its independence in 1963.

Since 2016, the new section is at the heart of a judicial battle between the government and environmental advocates. But last week, cranes and construction equipment made their appearance and hundreds of workers began working under the protection of armed men.

Nairobi National Park, the dean of parks East Africa, imagined in the 1940s by British settlers, is an expanse of nearly 120 km² bordering the Kenyan capital and a refuge for lions, zebras, crocodiles, rhinos, hippos, antelopes and other buffaloes. 19659002] The animals come via, to the south, a migration corridor to other natural parks like the famous Masai Mara. For environmental activists, the railroad is a direct threat to the survival of this park with no equivalent in the world.

"What you see here is a government that wants at all costs that things go in its direction, even if it is in defiance of a court decision, "said Jim Karani, the legal officer of the organization Wildlife Direct, which is involved in the litigation.

A small group of activists protested Thursday at the scene to demand that the government respects the court ruling and halts the construction of this line, entrusted to the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation.

"This is very disappointing. openly violates the law, "lamented a protestor, Catherine Chumo

In the park, the railway line will be elevated, perched on pillars 18 meters high on average, for a distance of 6 kilometers. 19659002] The pillars will be painted In order to blend in with the savannah, noise pollution will be reduced by means of baffles and animals may continue to circulate under the bridge.

The Government contests the idea that it would not respect the decision to suspending construction

According to a spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Paul Gathitu, China Road and Bridge Corporation has appealed this decision, which is itself suspended. 19659014]

Start Daring to US, Paris-Berlin Strong in EU Defense Pact

Europe must be self-sufficient (standing on its own) in military terms. France and Germany say this when they create a new EU defense treaty, make Washington a loophole.

The French and Germans showed their attitude on Friday (16/2) local time . At the opening remarks at the Munich Security Conference, French Defense Minister Florence Parly and his German counterpart Urusla von der Leyen said the EU plan would not threaten NATO

. But they stressed that the EU needs "autonomy" to respond to security threats , even those needs need to materialize as they support NATO's commitment.

"When we are threatened in our own environment, especially in the south, we must be able to respond, even when the United States or the NATO alliance would be too involved, "said Parly.

Von der Leyen also expressed his critical attitude to Washington to cut off aid and diplomatic budget alone, reminding our" American friends "that they have" valuable commitments beyond military factors ".

In December then, the EU announced the cooperation of permanent structures on defense affairs, referred to as PESCO, signed by 25 EU members. The purpose of this cooperation is to develop military equipment and improve cooperation and decision making.

Senior US officials doubt the EU's work. The United States is concerned that EU cooperation will make Europe a "protectionist" military equipment manufacturer in an umbrella, pulling resources away from NATO.

Secretary-General Nato Jens Stoltenberg is careful to accept the EU's efforts to boost its defense initiatives. But he cautioned that this move would not damage the transatlantic alliance or duplicate the alliance.

Blocking all of that attention, Parly said "all that tries to say is whether the EU or Nato: it is a false debate".

But EU countries should be prepared to act "without asking the United States for help, without asking them (AS) to divert ISR (intelligence, spying and surveillance) capabilities or supply of aircraft from missions "he said.

Von der Leyen agrees that building a European military autonomy is a good fit to prop up NATO. "It is about Europe that can also increase the ability of the military so that it can become more independent and take on more responsibilities – also in NATO," he added.

(dnu / dnu)

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US forces in Afghanistan start air strikes against Taliban

US forces in Afghanistan have initiated a new offensive of aerial bombardment against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan

The military issued a statement Tuesday saying it started a series of precision attacks last Friday at a suspected central facility training the Taliban in Badakshan province, with the aim of "preventing the planning and training of terrorist acts near the border with China and Tajikistan." The airstrikes have also destroyed vehicles stolen from the modified Afghan National Army to carry bombs

"The Taliban do not have a place to hide, "the statement quoted General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan. "There will be no safe haven for terrorist groups committed to bringing disaster and destruction into the country."

The airstrikes have also reduced the source of income and safe haven for the Taliban, resulting in the loss of more than $ 30 million in revenues for the Taliban since the bombing campaign began in November. [lt]