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Two people died as the riots in New Caledonia became worse due to the voting rights issues

  • Posted on May 15, 2024
  • News

Riots erupted in New Caledonia after France granted voting rights to residents, leaving two dead. Violence spread despite curfews as indigenous Kanaks fear being outvoted, prompting Macron to convene an emergency meeting.


At least, two people have been killed and hundreds of people injured in New Caledonia, one of the French Pacific territories, due to the riot that is still ongoing because of a new law that grants voting rights to the French residents in that territory. The outburst of violence took place on Monday night as a result of the French parliament voting to let the French citizens living in New Caledonia for at least 10 years to vote in provincial elections.

The unrest led French President Emmanuel Macron to cancel his plans to chair an emergency security meeting on the crisis. His office reported the confrontations with the police, the vehicles and the buildings that were burnt, and the group that tried to break the prison during the "serious disturbances" in the capital Nouméa.

The French authorities have set a curfew and banned public gatherings, but the riots are still going strong. The French interior minister said hundreds have been injured, among them police officers, with more than 130 arrests done up to now.

The Kanaks who are indigenous are afraid that the new voting law will be discriminatory to their population, which is around 40% of the total New Caledonian population of 300,000. The main pro-independence party has demanded peace, but at the same time complained about the extension of voting rights to all long-term French residents.

Since the 19th century, New Caledonia has been a French territory and it was the 1998 accord that gave it more autonomy and also the right to hold referendums for independence. Independence was not accepted in all three votes, the most recent one being in 2021 when the pro-independence parties boycotted because of the refusal of the postponement during COVID-19.

Also Read: 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots Case: Congress Leader Jagdish Tytler Faces Protesters At Rouse Avenue Court

As the violent backlash continues to intensify, the concerns about bloodshed and instability in the strategic Pacific island territory which is heavily dependent on France are increasing. Authorities are pleading for protesters to stop the riot immediately to avert a worse disaster.

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