Minister Reports a More Peaceful Night Amid Protests Following Nahel M’s Murder in France
The French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Sunday that the night was “more peaceful” than the previous one, after several days of protests and clashes following the murder of Nahel M, a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on Monday.
According to the minister, 16 people were arrested on Saturday night for “acts of violence or degradation” in various cities, compared to 45 on Friday night. He also said that 3,600 police officers and gendarmes were mobilized to ensure public order and prevent further violence.
The murder of Nahel M, who was allegedly killed by a rival gang over a dispute about a scooter, sparked outrage and grief among his family, friends and community. Many people took to the streets to demand justice and denounce the insecurity and violence that plague some neighborhoods.
However, some of the protests turned violent, as groups of youths clashed with the police, set fire to cars and garbage cans, and vandalized public buildings and shops. The authorities condemned the violence and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The minister said that he had met with the family of Nahel M on Saturday and expressed his condolences and support. He also said that he had assured them that everything would be done to find and arrest the suspects, who are still on the run.
He also called for calm and dialogue, saying that “violence is not a solution” and that “the Republic will not give in to intimidation or threats”. He said that he had asked the prefects and mayors to organize meetings with the local residents and associations to address their concerns and grievances.
The murder of Nahel M has reignited the debate on the social and economic problems that affect some of the poorest and most marginalized areas of France, where unemployment, poverty, crime and discrimination are rampant. Many activists and politicians have called for more investment and policies to improve the living conditions and opportunities for the youth in these areas.
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