guard of honor in Ajaccio for Yvan Colonna before his funeral

A guard of honor frames the hearse carrying the remains of Yvan Colonna, upon his arrival in Ajaccio, March 23, 2022.

Yvan Colonna’s coffin arrived on the evening of Wednesday March 23 in Ajaccio, where he was greeted by a guard of honor. At least 1,500 people, authorities said, lined the road leaving the airport to pay their respects.

Red candle lights were lined up on the asphalt and hundreds of Corsican flags representing a Moor’s head wearing a white headband were brandished, noted a journalist from Agence France-Presse TV (AFPTV).

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As the hearse carrying the coffin covered with a Corsican flag passed, some in the silent crowd approached to touch the vehicle, others made the sign of the cross. “We want to show the French state that there is a Corsican people” and “when we touch one of ours, we are all there, whatever divisions we may have”reacted to AFPTV, Jean Mattei, a well-known figure on the island music scene. “What happened to him in prison is unacceptable”continued a little further Monique Antonietti, a 63-year-old retiree who says she feels “between hate and sadness”.

“It’s inappropriate”

Yvan Colonna was violently attacked on March 2 in the sports hall of Arles prison (Bouches-du-Rhône) by a fellow prisoner who was serving a sentence for terrorism. After almost three weeks in a coma, the former shepherd, sentenced to life for the assassination of the prefect Erignac in 1998, died Monday evening, aged 61, in a Marseille hospital.

Since the announcement of his death, meditation has prevailed on the island, contrasting with the scenes of violence that have punctuated the various demonstrations of support for nearly two weeks.

The Collectivity of Corsica put its flags at half mast on Tuesday. Asked about this on Wednesday during an interview with M6, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron denounced ” a fault “. “It’s inappropriate”, added, without further comment, the Head of State. On Wednesday evening, a dozen Corsican flags at half-mast were hung by demonstrators on the outside gates of the Ajaccio prefecture, with the banner “Glory to you Yvan” in the Corsican language.

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His funeral will take place Friday at 3 p.m. in Cargèse, his family village of some 1,300 inhabitants in western Corsica, according to sources familiar with the matter and Me Patrice Spinosi, one of the lawyers for the family of the deceased. No details have filtered at this stage on the course of the ceremony.

“I acted alone”

Anxious to calm tensions less than three weeks before the presidential election, the government has made several gestures of appeasement in recent days: the announcement of negotiations on a possible autonomy for Corsica, the rapprochement by mid-April in the Corsican prison of Borgo of the two other detainees of the Erignac commando, Alain Ferrandi and Pierre Alessandri.

Yvan Colonna also claimed his long-standing reconciliation in Corsica but had never been able to obtain it because of his status as a particularly reported prisoner (DPS). Many Corsicans believe that by having refused this request, the State has a share of the responsibility, hence the slogan “murderous French state” widely present in the demonstrations of the last few weeks which have sometimes been very violent.

Various investigations should make it possible to clarify the circumstances of this attack which lasted nearly eight minutes, was filmed by a camera, without any supervisor intervening.

“Yvan made blasphemous remarks towards God” ; “There was nothing personal” in this attack, said his attacker, Franck Elong Abe, according to the first minutes of the hearing consulted by AFP and elements of which were published on Wednesday by the daily Release. “I consider that God struck Yvan Colonna through my hands”he repeated, adding: “I did not act on behalf of any group, let’s be clear. I acted alone. » He also seemed to rule out premeditation to commit the attack.

The conclusions of the administrative inspection are expected in early April and the hearings on the conditions of the attack on Yvan Colonna before the National Assembly’s law commission are continuing.

The World with AFP

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