Once again protests in New Caledonia turn into riots, and another policeman dies

Once again protests in New Caledonia turn into riots, and another policeman dies

In the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, demonstrations and riots took place on Thursday for the third day in a row against the announced change in the law. Agence France-Presse reported that a gendarme was killed Thursday morning by an accidental bullet fired by a colleague. Earlier this week, another policeman and three civilians were killed. However, Thursday’s riots will generally be “less violent” compared to previous days.

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Meanwhile, the French government is trying with all its might to regain control of the situation. French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said: “Our absolute priority in the coming hours is the return of order and calm.” President Emmanuel Macron had previously declared a state of emergency and deployed five hundred additional police officers in the overseas territory, which is located between Australia and Fiji and has a population of about 270,000 people. France also called in the army on Thursday to secure its ports and airport. A video conference between Macron and local representatives was canceled on Thursday because the different politicians did not want to sit down with each other. Local parties are sharply divided on the question of whether New Caledonia should remain part of France or not.

The protests began after a call from pro-independence groups, including many indigenous Kanak individuals. They are against the constitutional amendment approved by the French government on Tuesday. This makes it possible for French people who have lived in the archipelago for more than ten years to vote in provincial elections. Currently, voting rights are limited to French residents, to ensure a voice for indigenous people.

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