New Caledonia at a standstill

Well it’s been 48 hrs since my last blog post and things continue to remain uncertain. There was great hope yesterday that the road blocks would come down permantly and that some type of agreement would be reached, but, after marathon talks yesterday, the truckers would not sign the accord. So, this morning entry and exit from Noumea again was blocked. And road blocks remained on the RT1, the main highway on the island. In Noumea there are rumblings of no butter, flour and bottled water on the grocery store shelves and stores having to close because of lack of staff. There is no public transit running, as well as the islands entire bus system is shutdown and there are no domestic flights.

Here in Koné the temporary opening of the blockades yesterday allowed for restocking of grocery store shelves. But this evening the diesel ran dry (as most cars here are diesel) and the gasoline is out at some stations. There was some discussion that after the two week school holiday, there would be no school on Monday but, a recent press release says the will open. We have done what we think we should do, stocked up on groceries, filled our gas tanks (Keith was only allowed $20) and keep checking the news outlets for more information.

This evening some roadblocks were opened but no one knows if this was temporarily or permanently. Noumea roadblocks remain. It’s seems that every section of government has released a press release. The President of the Congrès, the municipal government, the President of the Northern Province, the Island Province, the Gendarmes, the head of Contakmine ( the truckers) and the Haut Commisaire.

So now we wait. What will Saturday bring? Will there be more negotiation? More road blocks? Gas? Diesel? I guess we will have to wait and see. I’ll let you know what happens.

The front page of the paper

The front page of the paper

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