8000 police officers to patrol French borders during climate conference, Interior Minister says

Obama Will Attend Paris Climate Summit
Obama Will Attend Paris Climate Summit

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday (November 25) that some 8,000 policemen will be deployed for border checks during the U.N. Climate Conference (COP21), which begins on Sunday (November 29) at Le Bourget in the North of Paris.

He also announced that 2,800 additional troops will be put in place on the site of the conference.

"These controls will be made by 8000 police officers specifically sent to our air, naval and terrestrial borders. Regarding the roll-out of the police forces, on top of the 8000 police officers at the borders, 2800 police officers will be patrolling on the site of climate conference. Mobile units, riot squads, and gendarmerie units will be called on at an unprecedented level both in Paris and the provinces so that the public order is insured permanently to avoid any misbehaviour," Cazeneuve said.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also called on Parisians not to use their personal vehicles on Sunday and Monday and prioritize public transportation, which will be free exceptionally on November 29 and 30.

"My message is very simple: Do not drive on November 29 and 30. It's something that can't be overlooked. Everything is set up so that the public transportation, so that everyone can move according to their needs, notably to go to work and to do all the activities that are necessary for our city, but really, people need to forget about driving on November 29 and 30," Hidalgo said.

On Nov. 15, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the COP21 climate conference would be maintained despite the attacks in Paris on November 13 that killed 130 people and wounded several hundred others.

French President Francois Hollande will host on Monday 143 heads of state and government, including U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, who will all pay tribute to 130 victims attacks.

A heavy police presence was already put in place on Friday (November 20) on the site of the COP21.

Large demonstrations planned in Paris for the eve of the conference and the final weekend have been banned by the French authorities amid security concerns.

The meeting aims to secure a binding commitment from participating countries to reduce global emissions and keep temperature rises to below two degrees celsius.

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