France Declares State of Emergency in New Caledonia Amid Deadly Riots

Posted on 24 May 2024

New Caledonia has been engulfed in a wave of protests following a contentious decision by French lawmakers to amend the voting eligibility laws for the territory’s elections. The changes, which aim to increase the number of French nationals eligible to vote, have sparked significant unrest, leading to the arrest of over 130 individuals. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has appealed for peace as the territory grapples with the implications of this legislative shift. The modifications are perceived by many as a threat to the political influence of the Indigenous Kanak population, who constitute a substantial portion of the electorate and are a driving force in the pro-independence movement.

The situation escalated with reports of deadly clashes, resulting in at least three fatalities. The turmoil has seen public buildings set ablaze, roads obstructed, and vehicles incinerated. The French High Commission has reported extensive damage and numerous injuries, underscoring the severity of the crisis. In response, a curfew has been imposed, and schools and the main airport have been shut down in an effort to restore order. The unrest broke out ahead of the French National Assembly’s vote on a bill that would allow French residents with a ten-year tenure in New Caledonia to participate in provincial elections. This proposed change has raised fears among local leaders that it could dilute the Kanaks’ voting power, potentially altering the territory’s political landscape.
Source: The Guardian

Photo by: TUBS via Wikimedia Commons


new caledonia Riots