France deploys over 600 gendarmes in New Caledonia amid unrest over voting rights

France deploys over 600 gendarmes in New Caledonia amid unrest over voting rights
France deploys over 600 gendarmes in New Caledonia amid unrest over voting rights

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - PARIS — France has initiated a major operation in New Caledonia involving more than 600 gendarmes to address recent disturbances caused by local protests against a new voting rights law, as announced by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

The operation aims to restore order and secure the crucial 60-kilometer road linking Noumea, the capital, to the airport.

The unrest, which began after the French National Assembly passed a constitutional reform granting long-term French residents on the island the right to vote in local elections, has led to the deployment of a significant number of roadblocks. The High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia reported that nearly 60 of these obstructions have been dismantled.

To date, the operation has resulted in the arrest of over 200 individuals and the reopening of 20 food stores. Despite these efforts, many roadblocks remain, prompting the French government to maintain strict directives for law enforcement.

The situation escalated quickly, resulting in six fatalities and hundreds of arrests since the protests erupted on Monday. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of emergency and sent military forces to help quell the violence and maintain public order in the archipelago. — Agencies


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