New Caledonia announces curfew after riots over voting reforms

New Caledonia announces curfew after riots over voting reforms
New Caledonia announces curfew after riots over voting reforms

Hello and welcome to the details of New Caledonia announces curfew after riots over voting reforms and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - New Caledonia’s high commissioner said today that shots had been fired at security forces during a night of riots in the French Pacific territory that saw vehicles torched and shops looted. — AFP pic

NOUMEA, May 14 — New Caledonia’s high commissioner said today that shots had been fired at security forces during a night of riots in the French Pacific territory that saw vehicles torched and shops looted.

“There have been no deaths,” High Commissioner of the Republic Louis Le Franc told reporters, adding that “shots were fired at the gendarmes using high calibre weapons and hunting rifles”.

Authorities in the French-run archipelago announced a night-time curfew today and a ban on public gatherings after protests against proposed voting reforms that have angered separatists.

At least two car dealerships and a bottling factory in the capital Noumea were set on fire in arson attacks, an AFP journalist saw.

Advertisement

Several supermarkets were also looted in Noumea and the neighbouring towns of Dumbea and Mont-Dore.

“The police station nearby was on fire and a car was too, in front of my house. There was non-stop shouting and explosions, I felt like I was in a war,” said Sylvie, whose family has lived in New Caledonia for several generations.

“We are alone. Who is going to protect us?” she told AFP, asking to be identified only by her first name.

Advertisement

From late Monday night, groups of young masked or hooded demonstrators took over several roundabouts and confronted police, who responded with non-lethal rounds.

A police source said several vehicles were torched during violent clashes.

A total of 36 people were arrested and 30 police officers injured, according to authorities.

“Very intense public order disturbances took place last night in Noumea and in neighbouring municipalities, and are still ongoing at this time,” the high commission, the representative of the French state in New Caledonia, said in a statement Tuesday.

The commission said it was “massively mobilising internal security and civil security forces” over the unrest but “no serious injuries were reported among the population”.

The New Caledonia government appealed for “reason and calm” and called on “all Caledonians to demonstrate a sense of responsibility” following the night of unrest.

Frozen voter lists

The unrest erupted Monday as protesters demonstrated against a constitutional reform being debated in the national assembly in Paris that aims to expand the electorate in the territory’s provincial elections.

France vowed in the Noumea Accord of 1998 to gradually give more political power to the Pacific island territory of nearly 300,000 people.

Under the agreement, New Caledonia has held three referendums over its ties with France, all rejecting independence.

The pro-independence Indigenous Kanaks rejected the result of the last referendum held in December 2021, which they boycotted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Noumea Accord has also meant that New Caledonia’s voter lists have not been updated since 1998 -- meaning that island residents who have arrived from mainland France or elsewhere anytime in the past 25 years do not have the right to take part in provincial polls.

The French government has branded the exclusion of one out of five people from voting as “absurd”, while separatists fear that expanding voter lists would benefit pro-France politicians and “further minimise the Indigenous Kanak people”.

After a night of unrest, the New Caledonia high commission announced a ban on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol and said a curfew would be imposed from 6.00pm Tuesday until 6.00am Wednesday.

“The high commissioner calls on the population to stay at home and limit their travel in the coming hours.”

Schools and colleges are closed until further notice and the international airport is also shut.

“I feel sad,” Jean-Franck Jallet, who owns a butcher shop that firefighters managed to rescue from the flames. “I thought it was possible for us (islanders) to live side by side, but it hasn’t worked. There are too many lies.”

New Zealand said Tuesday that Foreign Minister Winston Peters had cancelled his visit to New Caledonia due to the unrest.

“In discussions with our French and New Caledonian hosts, we have decided to postpone this week’s travel to Noumea to allow authorities to fully focus on the current situation,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

During a visit to the territory last year, President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted a revised constitutional status for New Caledonia to be in place by the beginning of 2024.

Macron has been seeking to reassert his country’s importance in the Pacific region, where China and the United States are vying for influence but France has territories such as New Caledonia and French Polynesia. — AFP

These were the details of the news New Caledonia announces curfew after riots over voting reforms for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at Malay Mail and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

PREV Survivors hunt for the missing days after Afghanistan floods
NEXT Top French university loses funding over pro-Palestinian protests

Author Information

I have been an independent financial adviser for over 11 years in the city and in recent years turned my experience in finance and passion for journalism into a full time role. I perform analysis of Companies and publicize valuable information for shareholder community. Address: 2077 Sharon Lane Mishawaka, IN 46544, USA Phone: (+1) 574-255-1083 Email: [email protected]