Current Affairs 2023: French Riots Explained

Pic Credit: BBC

The tragic event involving Nahel Merzouk’s fatal shooting by the police on June 27 in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, has set off a chain of events that shine a light on some deep-rooted problems in France. This article dives into the type of unrest, the reasons behind it, how the government reacted, and the significant consequences it brought to both the mainland and overseas areas.

Understanding the French Riots

The eruption of violence after Nahel Merzouk’s death was mainly started by the younger generation, including minors and migrants from Black and Arab communities. It all started in Nanterre and quickly spread to other places like the north, central, and southwest. This led to five nights of unrest, and more than 3,000 people were arrested all over the country. The mayors of affected cities tried to stop the violence by holding rallies, but the unrest continued until July 2.

Also Read: Explaining The French Riots: Latest Current Affairs 2023

What’s Behind the French Riots

Even though France has good economic indicators like low unemployment and increased foreign investment, it’s still facing some big problems. This event has made the racial divisions in the country even more noticeable, especially when it comes to the police stopping and checking Black or Arab people. France has seen uprisings before due to issues like unemployment, poverty, and tensions between the community and the police in the 1980s and 1990s. Even though Nahel’s case led to quick action, people remember past cases where very few people were punished. This shooting has brought up worries about racism and bad police behavior, leading to protests that say the police force has systemic racism.

Debating the Police

This event has started a big discussion about when the police can use deadly force. Some politicians on the left side want to change or even cancel a law from 2017 that made it easier for the police to shoot at moving cars. This law was made after terrorist attacks, but people don’t like it because it’s not clear enough.

How the Government Responded to the French Riot

The government tried to stop the violence by sending out more than 40,000 police officers, led by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. This led to both police and protestors getting hurt. President Emmanuel Macron talked to parents, asking them to keep their kids inside because many of the rioters were young. He also said that maybe there should be rules on how social media is used because some people think social media made the violence worse.

Different Views from Police Unions and the Public

While some police unions say they support the police officer who got arrested, other people say that the police’s job has become more dangerous because the government isn’t dealing with issues like drugs, unemployment, and education in places that need help. People donated a lot of money to help the arrested police officer’s family, showing that different people have different feelings about the situation.

Challenges for President Macron

President Macron has many problems to deal with, like protests about changing pensions and people being unhappy about prices going up. He’s trying to make people feel better, but we don’t know yet if it’s working. Some people from far-right groups and political parties that are against Macron want the country to be in an emergency situation. This shows how complicated it is to keep the country together.

Impact on Faraway Places

The problems in France’s mainland spread to its faraway places, like French Guiana. Sadly, someone who worked for the government died because of a bullet that hit them by mistake, and police officers also got shot at. People in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Reunion also protested. This shows that there’s a big difference between these places and the mainland, and they feel like the government isn’t treating them fairly.


What happened after Nahel Merzouk’s shooting has shown that there are some deep problems in France that need to be fixed. They need to work on treating everyone equally, changing how the police do things, and dealing with the big problems in society. As President Macron tries to figure things out, it’s clear that France’s problems aren’t easy to solve and they affect everyone, even in places far from the capital.

FAQ: French Riots 2023 Explained

Q1: What started the French riots in 2023?

The French riots in 2023 were ignited by the fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk by the police on June 27 in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris. This tragic event triggered a series of protests and unrest across the country.

Q2: What happened in France Riots in 2023?

In 2023, the fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk by the police in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, set off widespread protests and unrest. The incident highlighted deep-rooted societal issues and sparked debates about racial inequality and police misconduct.

Q3: Why are the Paris protests in 2023 happening?

The Paris protests in 2023 were a response to the fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk by the police. The protests reflect concerns about racial polarization, police behavior, and broader societal challenges in France.

Q4: When did the riots start in France in 2023?

The riots in France in 2023 began after the fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk on June 27. The unrest continued for several days, spreading to various regions across the country.

Q5: What are the current riots in France about?

The current riots in France are a response to the fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk and the subsequent protests. They highlight issues of racial inequality, police conduct, and broader social and economic challenges faced by the country.

Optimized by Optimole