Macron Announces “Unprecedented Operation” Against Drugs in Marseille

Tue Mar 19 2024
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MARSEILLE: French President Emmanuel Macron has announced to combat drug trafficking in Marseille, vowing an “unprecedented operation” during a surprise visit to the southern port city, which has been plagued by gangland violence.

Macron took to X, formerly Twitter, to announce the launch of the operation upon his arrival in Marseille, emphasizing the government’s commitment to restoring order and cracking down on criminal networks.

The operation, as per media reports, will see the deployment of thousands of police officers on a weekly basis to quell the crisis that has undermined security in Marseille and tarnished its reputation.

During a walkabout in the northern district of La Castellane, one of the areas hardest hit by gang violence, Macron assured residents that the operation would endure for several weeks. He articulated the objective of dismantling criminal networks and expelling those who disrupt the daily lives of Marseille’s inhabitants.

Le Figaro revealed that approximately 4,000 police officers will be mobilized weekly in Marseille and its environs, with 170 identified “targets” slated for enforcement actions.

The escalation of violence in Marseille, epitomized by 49 drug-related killings and 123 injuries in 2023, prompted urgent action from French authorities. Notably, casualties included bystanders caught in the crossfire, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

The crackdown follows the recent arrest of Felix Bingui, purported leader of the Yoda drug gang, in Morocco. Bingui’s apprehension in Casablanca marks a significant blow to Marseille’s criminal underworld, particularly amidst the ongoing turf war with rival factions such as the DZ Mafia.

The timing of the anti-drug operation holds particular significance as Marseille is set to play a pivotal role in the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. The city is slated to host Olympic sailing events and matches at the legendary Velodrome stadium, underscoring the imperative of restoring safety and order.

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