Politics 13:15 17/05/2024 World

France says situation 'calmer' in New Caledonia after fourth night of troubles

Hundreds of extra military and police arrived in France's troubled Pacific territory of New Caledonia ahead of a fourth night of troubles that have left five dead and hundreds wounded, officials said Friday, May 17. Opposition to a plan to impose new voting rules has spiraled into deadly violence in the archipelago, Le Monde reports.

State of emergency powers had enabled security forces to impose "a calmer and more peaceful situation" around the capital Nouméa for the first time since the troubles started on Monday, the French government office on the island said in a statement early Friday. But it said there had been "fires at a school and two companies".

Louis Le Franc, the High Commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia, announced on Friday that a person suspected of homicide had surrendered. "One perpetrator has turned himself in. The others are being sought," he said at a press briefing in Nouméa after days of unrest that have left five dead and hundreds wounded.

He also announced that certain areas of the Pacific territory have "escaped" state control, announcing fresh security deployments after days of deadly violence. "Reinforcements will be arriving ... to control the areas that have escaped us in recent days, where control is no longer assured," the High Commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia Louis Le Franc told reporters at a briefing.

The violence is the worst seen in New Caledonia, which has a population of about 270,000, since troubles involving independence radicals in the 1980s. Palm-lined boulevards in Nouméa were littered with debris and patrolled by armored vehicles, while some mainly indigenous locals piled up objects to make roadblocks on Thursday.

A second gendarme was killed on Thursday, officials said, with a source telling Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the officer had been hit by friendly fire. Three men aged between 17 and 36 have also died in the troubles.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said about 1,000 extra security forces would be sent to New Caledonia – adding to the 1,700 already present – while authorities would push for "the harshest penalties for rioters and looters".

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said reinforcements had started arriving Thursday. Troops have been called in to secure New Caledonia's international airport, which has been closed to commercial flights, and main ports.

TikTok has been banned because it was being used by protesters, according to authorities. The social media giant called the decision "regrettable" in a statement and said that "no request or question, no demand to withdraw the content, had been made by local authorities or the French government".

As part of the state of emergency about 200 of an estimated 5,000 "rioters" have been detained, French authorities said. Security forces placed five suspected independence activists accused of organizing violence under house arrest, according to authorities. It added that "people have been ambushing law enforcement officers" with "sustained fire from hunting rifles". Sixty-four of the injured are police and security forces.


French lawmakers on Tuesday pushed forward plans to allow outsiders who moved to New Caledonia at least 10 years ago to vote in the territory's elections. Pro-independence forces say that would dilute the vote of Kanaks, who make up about 40% of the population.

A group of independence movements in French territories around the world convened by Azerbaijan issued statements about the riots on Tuesday and Thursday, prompting Darmanin to accuse Baku of "interference". Baku swiftly rejected the allegation as "baseless".

Voting reform must still be approved by a joint sitting of both houses of the French parliament. President Emmanuel Macron has said French lawmakers will vote to adopt the constitutional change by the end of June unless New Caledonia's opposing sides can strike a new deal.

But a videoconference between Macron and New Caledonian lawmakers planned for Thursday was canceled as "the different players did not want to speak to one another", his office said.

Source Panorama.am
Share |

Related news

Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Armenian culture ministry debunks Azerbaijan's lies
The Armenian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports (MoESCS) has officially denied Azerbaijan’s false reports about attempts...
Harry and Meghan reportedly contacted Kate Middleton to make peace
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had reached out to Kate Middleton before her defiant return to the spotlight at last week’s Trooping the...
Armenian government approves €15 million EU aid for Artsakh refugees
The Armenian government on Thursday approved an agreement on €15 million assistance from the European Union to respond to the needs of...
Armenia drop one spot in FIFA rankings
FIFA has today published the updated list of national teams' rankings. Armenia's national team has lost one spot to be placed 96th in...
Opposition MP: Armenian Foreign Ministry statement causes concern
Opposition MP Tigran Abrahamyan has expressed concern over the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s response to Baku’s strong criticism of...
Raya Nazaryan elected Bulgarian parliament speaker
UDF MP Raya Nazaryan was elected Bulgaria's National Assembly Chair on Thursday. She received 131 votes in favour, 66 MPs voted against, and...
Russia plans to open consulate general in Armenia's Kapan
Moscow expects to open a Russian consulate general in the Armenian city of Kapan shortly, State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny...
'Diplomatic failure': Expert reacts to Pashinyan-Erdogan phone call
Professor Ruben Melkonyan, dean of the YSU Faculty of Oriental Studies, has called the latest phone call between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol...
Yerevan Conservatory head replaced
Tsovinar Movsisyan was installed as caretaker rector of the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory on 13 June pending the election of a new head,...
Iran condemns Canada's listing of IRGC as terror group
Tehran condemns Canada’s listing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization as “an unwise and...
Russia reacts to Armenia's decision to skip CSTO meeting
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin noted that Russia expects Yerevan to understand that the Collective Security Treaty Organization...
Ombudsperson: Protection of displaced Karabakh Armenians' rights crucial
In a message on World Refugee Day marked on June 20, Armenian Human Rights Defender Anahit Manasyan called attention to the forced displacement...
Armenian church marks Feast of the Holy Translators
The Armenian Apostolic Church on Thursday marks the Feast of the Holy Translators St. Sahak and St. Mesrop, Qahana.am reports. Catholicos...
West's agenda in South Caucasus doesn't always meet interests of regional states, Russia says
Agenda of the West in the South Caucasus region does not always meet the interests of regional nations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail...
Ecuador hit by nationwide blackout
A nationwide electricity outage struck Ecuador on Wednesday, leaving the nation of some 18 million in the dark, including the capital's...
Archbishop says Armenian church not involved in protest movement
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of the Tavush for the Homeland protest movement, rejects the Armenian leaders’ claims that the...
Russia says France provoking another escalation in South Caucasus
France is provoking another bout of escalation in the South Caucasus with its sale of Caesar howitzers to Armenia, TASS quoted Russian...
Lawyer: Reporter Abraham Gasparyan brutally beaten by 20 police officers
Lawyer Arsen Babayan denounced the “unprecedented” police violence against protesters demanding Prime Minister Nikol...
Protest movement in Armenia to continue with new momentum, leader says
The protest movement aimed at ousting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his government will continue in Armenia with new momentum, says its...
Armenian defense minister meets with Macron's military adviser
Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan on Wednesday held a meeting with General Fabien Mandon, French President Emmanuel Macron's...
Amendments to SFOPS bill call for increased funding for Armenia
Armenian Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) has offered a bipartisan amendment with Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) to the FY25...
Tatoyan Foundation releases report on police violence against protesters in Yerevan
The Tatoyan Foundation has released a special report on the police violence against protesters outside the Armenian parliament on June 12....
Foreign Ministry: Baku's reaction to Armenia-France military cooperation causes confusion
Azerbaijan's reaction to  the Armenia-France military-technical cooperation by official Baku causes confusion, the Armenian...
Opposition MP: Armenian government conceded strategic advantage in Syunik
Opposition MP Tigran Abrahamyan has reacted to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s latest trip to Syunik Province, highlighting that he...
Albania charged by UEFA over fan trouble during Euro 2024 Italy clash
The Albanian FA has been charged by European football's governing body for fan troubles during their Euro 2024 match against Italy on...
Archbishop Bagrat unveils next steps of protest movement
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan unveiled the next steps of the Tavush for the Homeland protest movement led by him at a news conference on...
At least 550 hajj pilgrims die in Mecca amid extreme heat
At least 550 pilgrims have died during the hajj, underscoring the gruelling nature of the pilgrimage which again unfolded in scorching...
The regime that rules Armenia has crossed all red lines: must be disposed of ASAP
By Harut Sassounian www.thecaliforniacourier.com I am deeply disappointed and saddened by the events that took place in Armenia last...
Catholicos Aram I seeks Iran's support for release of Armenian prisoners in Azerbaijan
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I on Tuesday received Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Moujtaba Amani, accompanied by embassy political officials....
EU brings relief to victims of floods in Armenia
Following the flash floods in Armenia’s Lori and Tavush regions in May, the European Union is providing €100 000 in humanitarian...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}