Corsica death spurs women's peace group

Bastia bomb: As in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, there is a backlash against violence - but the precedent is not promising

The Corsican nationalist killed by a car bomb in the city of Bastia on Monday was buried in his native village of Lucciana yesterday evening, with full paramilitary honours.

Despite appeals from police that the funeral should be held in accordance with the law, a commando unit from the paramilitary FLNC-Canal Historique fired three shots over the coffin before it was lowered into the grave. Pierre Lorenzi was a leader of the movement's political front organisation, Conculta.

The national secretary of Conculta, Charles Pieri, was believed to have been the main target of the attack, in which 14 other people were hurt. He suffered extensive injuries, as did a third member of Conculta. They were leaving the offices of their company, a security firm, when the bomb exploded.

With politicians in Paris still shocked by the force of the attack, the first in Corsica's recent history of violence to have caused indiscriminate injury, the Prime Minister, Alain Juppe, said the government would show "firmness and intransigence" in response to the car bomb attack. Blaming "20 years of government procrastination" for the current level of violence in Corsica, he denied that his ministers had conducted secret talks with nationalist groups and insisted they dealt only with "those who accepted the rules of the democratic game - elected representatives, no one else". A dozen or so known nationalists were detained in Corsica overnight, and the chief of the French national police force, Claude Gueant, was dispatched to Bastia from Paris.

One glimmer of hope has been provided over the past six months by a women's peace movement, similar in origins and sentiments to the women's peace movement in Ireland and founded by women who have lost - or who fear losing - husbands and sons.

The Manifesto for Life was officially founded in January. Among the founders was Laetitia Sozzi, 30, whose husband Robert, a member of the FLNC -Canal Historique, was murdered after he questioned the links between the group and "dirty money" circulating in the building sector in Corsica.

The women, whose Manifesto demonstrations regularly attract more than 1,000 people, say they "reject the establishment of a system based on terror" and insist that "no one should have cause to fear ... because of the violence of a minority".

More than 48 hours after the attack, no group had admitted responsibility for the bomb, and police were enforcing a news blackout. In the resulting vacuum, all manner of theories circulated. The most popular centred on political, personal or business rivalries. Lorenzi was a business partner of Charles Pieri. The nationalists have split many times over, and have directed as much violence against each other as against French targets.

In Corsica, however, a spokesman for the Movement for Self-Determination, the political front of FLNC-Canal Habituel, the main nationalist rival to Conculta, condemned the killing. The move seemed to quash one theory, that the car bomb was a revenge attack for the murder 10 months ago of one of the movement's leaders, Pierre Albertini.

A more sinister theory, advanced by a spokesman for yet another nationalist group, the Accolta Naziunale Corsa, was that none of the nationalists was directly involved and the attack was a staged "provocation" from outside. "Outside" could mean opponents of nationalism in Corsica, or even - though this was not stated openly - inspired by Paris. He said it was "inconceivable" that nationalists could direct such violence against each other.

The initial horror at the Bastia bomb has given way to a mixture of pessimism and perverse optimism. The bomb may be a harbinger of worse to come.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?