France sent more gendarmes to New Caledonia to deal with the riots

France sent more gendarmes to New Caledonia to deal with the riots

May 27, 2024

Paris [France], May 27: In addition to sending more gendarmes, France plans to lift the state of emergency to pave the way for dialogue to de-escalate tensions after riots occurred in New Caledonia.
The Elysee Palace on May 27 said it would send seven more mobile units to reinforce security in New Caledonia after the deadly riots , increasing the security force to 3,500 people in the French territory in the Pacific.
The new addition includes 480 gendarmes, according to AFP. In addition, the French government plans to lift the state of emergency in New Caledonia at 5 a.m. May 28 (local time).
Several people were killed, hundreds were arrested and many homes and cars were vandalized in riots when many people protested electoral reform regulations introduced in Paris on May 14.
New regulations allow residents of this country who have lived in New Caledonia for 10 years to vote in provincial elections. Some local leaders are concerned this will dilute the votes of the indigenous Kanak people, who make up 40% of the population.
On May 24, police opened fire, killing one person, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in this territory in an effort to de-escalate tensions.
According to the Elysee Palace, Mr. Macron's decision not to extend the state of emergency demonstrates Paris's desire to begin the process of reducing tensions and re-establishing the conditions for dialogue.
The pro-independence FLNKS political alliance in New Caledonia issued a statement on May 25 saying the priority is to reduce tensions and the only solution that can be implemented is a "political and non-repressive solution".
FLNKS is a coalition of parties that supports New Caledonia head of government Louis Mapou and wants Paris to cancel electoral reform.
A statement from the Elysee Palace said the lifting of the state of emergency was intended to allow the FLNKS to meet. Mr. Macron "reiterated that removing barriers is a necessary condition to open concrete and serious negotiations," after many protesters set up barricades and blocked roads.
There are currently no new announcements related to the night curfew issued by the New Caledonia government. The operator of Noumea International Airport in New Caledonia said the airport will be closed until June 2.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper