squatters block traffic in Mauritius protest FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 22 May 1998 01:05:20 -0700 (PDT)



PORT LOUIS, May 6 (Reuters) - Squatters in a poor suburb of the
Mauritius capital stoned vehicles and blocked traffic on Monday in a
protest against eviction, local radio reports said.

Police said two officers and three protesters were injured in clashes
during the protest in the Camp Chapedelon suburb in the south of
Port Louis.

The protest began around 4.30 p.m. local time (1330 GMT) and local
radio quoted the deputy commissioner of police as saying the
situation was under control and traffic was flowing freely by around
6.15 p.m. (1530 GMT).

The protest started after a government decision to evict the squatters
who live close to an arterial road running into the capital.

The government later said it would give the squatters two days to
vacate the shelters and would make nine centres available to them on a
temporary basis.

``If by Saturday morning the squatters have not vacated the shelters
the government will restart the eviction process,'' according to a
statement from the prime minister's office read on state television.

The government said it took the decision after talks with the squatters
and non-governmental organisations.

The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has a population of 1.1 million
and flourishes on financial services, sugar exports and tourism.


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