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France Imposes State of Emergency in New Caledonia Following Violent Protests



France has announced a state of emergency in the Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia following a series of violent protests. The unrest, which has resulted in four fatalities, including one police officer, is centered around electoral reforms proposed by the French government.

Government spokeswoman Prisca Thevenot called for calm and dialogue amidst the escalating tensions. French President Emmanuel Macron‘s office issued a statement condemning the violence and emphasizing the need to restore order in the region.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal confirmed the deployment of additional forces to New Caledonia to maintain peace and security. He highlighted the need to address the root causes of the conflict and to engage in meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders.

Gerald Darmanin, the French Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories, reported numerous incidents of violence and vandalism, resulting in injuries to hundreds of individuals, including police officers. The French authorities have so far arrested over 130 people in connection with the protests.

The unrest in New Caledonia stems from proposed changes to the voting rights regulations, which have sparked heated debates between pro-independence groups, mainly the Kanak population, and supporters of the French government. The situation remains tense as both sides continue to express their grievances.

The French government’s decision to impose a state of emergency grants local authorities extended powers to enforce public order and security measures. Restrictions on public gatherings, travel, and other activities have been put in place to stabilize the situation in New Caledonia.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, has been at the center of the violent clashes, prompting the closure of the La Tontouta International Airport and the imposition of a night curfew. The French administration is closely monitoring the developments in the region to prevent further escalation of the conflict.

Rachel Adams

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