Breaking News New Caledonia Unrest

Saithan

Experienced member
Denmark Correspondent
Messages
8,293
Reactions
24 19,055
Nation of residence
Denmark
Nation of origin
Turkey

Why this French island in the Pacific is being roiled by violence over a vote held 10,000 miles away​

CNN —
The French government has declared a state of emergency in its South Pacific island territory of New Caledonia after deadly violence erupted for a third day Wednesday, with armed clashes between protesters, militias and police, and buildings and cars set on fire in the capital.

At least four people have died in the unrest, which is considered the worst since the 1980s. In the capital Noumea, authorities have imposed a curfew and closed the main airport — usually a busy tourist hub — to commercial traffic. They have also banned public gatherings, carrying weapons and selling alcohol.

The violence is the latest outburst of political tensions that have simmered for years and pitted the island’s largely pro-independence indigenous Kanak communities — who have long chafed against rule by Paris – against French inhabitants opposed to breaking ties with their motherland.




Protests began Monday involving mostly young people, in response to the tabling of a vote 10,000 miles (17,000 kilometers) away in the French parliament proposing changes to New Caledonia’s constitution that would give greater voting rights to French residents living on the islands. On Tuesday, legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of the change.

“The last two days we’ve seen violence of a scale we haven’t seen for 30 years in New Caledonia,” Denise Fisher, a former Australian Consul-General in New Caledonia, told CNN. “It is kind of marking the end of 30 years of peace.”

“The Kanak people are objecting to [the vote in France] not just because it’s been decided in Paris without them but also they feel that they want it to be part of a negotiation … which would include another self determination vote and a range of other things.”




The proposed changes to the constitution would add thousands of extra voters to New Caledonia’s electoral rolls, which have not been updated since the late 1990s. Pro-independence groups say the changes are an attempt by France to consolidate its rule over the archipelago.

France’s interior ministry told CNN that 1,800 police officers and gendarmes are already present in New Caledonia and 500 additional police will arrive in the coming hours.

The state of emergency will allow authorities to impose restrictions on movement and carry out house arrests and searches. A spokesperson for the French government said the measures were needed to “deal with the serious breaches of public order which are occurring.”

Lying in the South Pacific with Australia, Fiji and Vanuatu for neighbors, New Caledonia is a semiautonomous French territory — one of a dozen scattered throughout the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean.





© Mapbox © OpenStreetMap Improve this map
French President Emmanuel Macron called for calm, issuing a letter Wednesday to New Caledonian political leaders urging them to “unambiguously condemn all this violence” and inviting both pro- and anti-independence leaders to meet him “face to face” in Paris.

Macron’s administration has pushed for a pivot to the Indo-Pacific, stressing that France is a Pacific power, as China and the United States beef up their presence amid a battle for influence in the strategically important region. New Caledonia is at the center of that plan.

“The stakes are high for France,” Fisher added. “France has identified an entire Indo-Pacific vision for itself.”

“The legitimacy of France’s participation this way, having an influence in this way, is in question when you have scenes like this.”

The violence​

Three people - two men and a woman, all indigenous Kanaks - have been shot dead in the violent protests and looting, according to Charles Wea, spokesperson for Louis Mapou, President of the Government of New Caledonia. A French police officer who was injured by gunfire in the riots also died, French interior minister Gérald Darmanin said.

Demonstrators have also set fire to buildings and cars in Noumea, defying a curfew that has been extended to Thursday.

Thick plumes of black smoke covered the capital on Wednesday morning, social media video showed. Images showed burned-out cars, fires in the street, and shops vandalized and looted.

“Some are equipped with hunting rifles with buckshot as ammunition. Others were equipped with larger rifles, firing bullets,” the French High commissioner to New Caledonia Louis Le Franc said.

More than 140 people have been arrested, while at least 60 security personnel have been injured in the clashes between local nationalist groups and the French authorities, according to Le Franc.

One Noumea resident told CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand of panic buying reminiscent of Covid-19. “A lot of fire, violence…but it’s better I stay safe at home. There are a lot of police and army. I want the government to put the action for the peace,” the person told RNZ, asking to remain anonymous.

Smoke rises in the distance in Noumea, New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.

Smoke rises in the distance in Noumea, New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.
Theo Rouby/AFP/Getty Images
French gendarme officers guard the entrance of the Vallee-du-Tir district, in Noumea, New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.

French gendarme officers guard the entrance of the Vallee-du-Tir district, in Noumea, New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.
Theo Rouby/AFP/Getty Images

The vote​

Colonial France took control of New Caledonia in 1853. White settlement followed and the indigenous Kanak people were longtime victims of harsh segregation policies. Many indigenous inhabitants continue to live with high rates of poverty and high unemployment to this day.

Deadly violence exploded in the 1980s eventually paving the way towards the Noumea Accord in 1998, a promise by France to give greater political autonomy to the Kanak community.

Multiple referendums were held in recent years - in 2018, 2020 and 2021 - as part of the agreement offering voters in New Caledonia the option to secede from France. Each referendum was voted down, but the process was marred by boycotts from pro-independence groups and by Covid-19.

Voter roles have been frozen since the Noumea Accord, the issue that France’s parliament was seeking to address in the vote that sparked this week’s violence.

French lawmakers in Paris voted 351 – 153 in favor of changing the constitution to “unfreeze” the territory’s electoral rolls, enfranchising French residents who have been in New Caledonia for 10 years.

The lists were frozen by the French government to appease pro-independence Kanak nationalists who believe new arrivals to the former colony, including from France, dilute popular support for independence.

Both houses of France’s parliament need to approve the constitutional change passed by the National Assembly.

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said the government would not call a meeting of the parliament to vote on the motion before talks with Kanak leaders, including major independence alliance the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS).

“I invite New Caledonia’s political leaders to seize this opportunity and come to Paris for talks in the coming weeks. The important thing is conciliation. Dialogue is important. It is about finding a common, political and global solution,” Attal said on the floor of the National Assembly.

FLNKS issued its own statement Wednesday both condemning the vote at the National Assembly and calling for an end to the violence.

“FLNKS appeals to the youth involved in these demonstrations for appeasement and to ensure the safety of the population and property,” the statement read.


 

Ryder

Experienced member
Messages
10,561
Reactions
5 18,208
Nation of residence
Australia
Nation of origin
Turkey
The Natives of New Caledonia want France out but the French Settlers want France to stay.

I heard there used to be a community of Algerians that lived in New Caledonia. A lot of them are exiles and sent to New Caledonia as convicts for defying French colonial rule in Algeria.
 

Bozan

Experienced member
Messages
1,515
Reactions
5 1,840
Nation of residence
United Kingdom
Nation of origin
Turkey
The Natives of New Caledonia want France out but the French Settlers want France to stay.

I heard there used to be a community of Algerians that lived in New Caledonia. A lot of them are exiles and sent to New Caledonia as convicts for defying French colonial rule in Algeria.

Like Turkish Cypriots VS Turks about what Erdogan is doing
 

Ryder

Experienced member
Messages
10,561
Reactions
5 18,208
Nation of residence
Australia
Nation of origin
Turkey

Why cant Erdogan do this?

If he sent agents then you will have the locals playing dombra.

What a missed opportunity lmaooo
 

Anastasius

Contributor
Moderator
Azerbaijan Moderator
Messages
1,353
Reactions
3 2,997
Nation of residence
United States of America
Nation of origin
Azerbaijan
May 16, 2024

Days of clashes between demonstrators and police in French-controlled New Caledonia are fueled by foreign interference, Paris declared on Thursday, as local officials vowed to restore order in the South Pacific territory.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that the violence, which has claimed the lives of three indigenous Kanak people and a police officer, had been actively supported by Azerbaijan.

“This isn’t a fantasy,” he insisted on Thursday. “I regret that some of the separatists have made a deal with Azerbaijan.” However, “even if there are attempts at interference, … France is sovereign on its own territory, and so much the better,” he added.

Speaking to POLITICO, a French intelligence official granted anonymity to discuss sensitive issues of national security, said that “we’ve detected activities from Russia and Azerbaijan in New Caledonia for weeks, even a few months. They’re pushing the narrative of France being a colonialist state.”

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aykhan Hajizada strongly rejected claims the country was behind the unrest. “Instead of accusing Azerbaijan of allegedly supporting pro-independence protests in New Caledonia, the Minister of the Interior of France should focus on his country’s failed policy towards the overseas territories that led to such protests,” he said.

Relations between France and Azerbaijan have hit rock bottom in recent years as a result of French military and political support for the South Caucasus country’s neighbor and historic rival Armenia — a situation only intensified by Baku’s military seizure of the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh last year.

France’s accusations against Azerbaijan will only heighten the focus on the international meddling and domestic political crackdowns perpetrated by a regime that will host this year’s COP29 U.N. climate talks.

The demonstrations have seen renewed calls for the independence of the Pacific Ocean archipelago, 1,200 kilometers east of Australia. The protests come after French MPs backed changes to New Caledonia’s constitution, allowing any citizen who has lived there for at least 10 years to vote in its local elections, a move local pro-independence Kanak activists fear will see them sidelined.

France imposed a state of emergency on New Caledonia on Wednesday.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly accused France of “neo-colonialism” and has actively supported independence movements and other countries’ claims over French territories across the world, including the island of Mayotte and New Caledonia.

Azerbaijan has even founded the Baku Initiative Group, bringing together 14 political movements across the former French Empire in the name of decolonization. The group issued a statement Thursday in which they accused Paris of “infringing upon the Kanak people’s right to self-determination by expanding the electorate to keep them a minority in their own homeland.”

However, according to Philippe Gomes, former president of the government of New Caledonia, Azerbaijan is actively funding the pro-independence Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front.

“Azerbaijan created the Baku group that funds separatists in all overseas French regions,” said Gomes, who has tried to quell calls for the islands to break from Paris. “Recent trips to Paris by independence activists were funded by Baku. It is clear and obvious that Azerbaijan is contributing in support the request for independence, which can be called foreign interference,” Gomes said.

Roch Wamytan, a Kanak politician serving as president of the Congress of New Caledonia has dismissed claims that Baku is a malign influence in the region. “Why demonize this country?” he asked in April as part of a row over local politicians recieving paid travel from authoritarian Azerbaijan. “France supports repressive and authoritarian regimes like Togo, Chad, Djibouti, by training their security forces, by advising their military hierarchy and through the sale of arms,” he said.

As part of the state of emergency, France has banned TikTok in New Caledonia in an apparent effort to disrupt the organization of protests that have left hundreds injured. The decision also allows authorities to order people deemed a threat to public order to be held under house arrest, as well as carry out searches, seize weapons and suspend the right to free assembly.

“No violence will be tolerated,” French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has said, insisting the draconian measures will “allow us to roll out huge efforts to restore order.”

Home to more than a quarter of a million people, New Caledonia was settled around 3,000 years ago by Pacific Islanders, and named by British explorer James Cook in 1774. It was later conquered by France in 1853. In recent years, there have been charges that the indigenous Kanak people have faced systemic discrimination and chronic underdevelopment.


We did it boys, we're now France's new boogeyman for when they don't want to own up to their mistakes.
 

Iskander

Well-known member
Think Tank Analyst
Messages
321
Reactions
9 975
Age
63
Nation of residence
Azerbaijan
Nation of origin
Azerbaijan
«The Azerbaijani flag flutters in the wind. It is recognizable by its white moon and star, on three horizontal bands of blue, red and green. In Nouméa, in the heart of the South Pacific, we are however very far from Azerbaijan», -
- reports reporter from protests against the colonial policies of France in New Caledonia.
Azerbaijan has long demanded that Paris not support Armenian separatists and not arm Armenia against us. France is not pacified; The Senate adopted a resolution recognizing the right of Armenian separatists to national self-determination in the territories of Azerbaijan.
If this principle is true, then the Kanakas of New Caledonia also have the same right.
20,000 km from Paris to the Kanak Islands, which the French call “New Caledonia”. distance How can this be French soil? Why is Polynesia French? When did Guiana become French land? And Guadeloupe? And Corsica?
All these and other so-called “overseas territories” are colonies and are subject to decolonization according to UN resolutions.
France, following Armenia, will be forced to withdraw from all territories that it still holds under occupation.
France must answer for all the atrocities it has committed in its colonies.
France will have to pay the bills.


Messieurs les Français, c'est le drapeau de l'Azerbaïdjan !

1715918489743.png
 
Last edited:

dBSPL

Experienced member
Think Tank Analyst
DefenceHub Ambassador
Messages
2,108
Reactions
86 10,939
Nation of residence
Turkey
Nation of origin
Turkey
nk.JPG


:cool:


The Azerbaijani flag flutters in the wind. It is recognizable by its white moon and star, on three horizontal bands of blue, red and green. In Nouméa, in the heart of the South Pacific, we are however very far from Azerbaijan, -
- reports a French reporter from protests against the colonial policies of France and New Caledonia.
Azerbaijan has long demanded that Paris not support Armenian separatists and not arm Armenia against us. France is not pacified; The Senate adopted a resolution recognizing the right of Armenian separatists to national self-determination in the territories of Azerbaijan.
If this principle is true, then the Kanakas of New Caledonia also have the same right.
20,000 km from Paris to the Kanak Islands, which the French call “New Caledonia”. distance How can this be French soil? Why is Polynesia French? When did Guiana become French land? And Guadeloupe? And Corsica?
All these and other so-called “overseas territories” are colonies and are subject to decolonization according to UN resolutions.
France, following Armenia, will be forced to withdraw from all territories that it still holds under occupation.
France must answer for all the atrocities it has committed in its colonies. Paris needs to pay bills
What exactly are they accusing Azerbaijan of, lol. It is nothing but an preposterous delirium. Even if that, so then Azerbaijan is the light not only of Turkish unity, but also of the peoples still oppressed under colonial laws.
 

Attachments

  • GNuejOPXUAAJYUX.png
    GNuejOPXUAAJYUX.png
    17.6 KB · Views: 26

Iskander

Well-known member
Think Tank Analyst
Messages
321
Reactions
9 975
Age
63
Nation of residence
Azerbaijan
Nation of origin
Azerbaijan
View attachment 68052

:cool:



What exactly are they accusing Azerbaijan of, lol. It is nothing but an preposterous delirium. Even if that, so then Azerbaijan is the light not only of Turkish unity, but also of the peoples still oppressed under colonial laws.

In 2023, on July 6, within the framework of the coordination bureau of the ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, it was decided to create the Baku Initiative Group (BIG), one of the main activities of which is to support the struggle of colonized regions against neo-colonialism. and colonialism.
The headquarters of BIG is located in Azerbaijan.
This is the reason for France's discontent.
There are great forces behind BIG.
France will have to get out of its colonies. The heart - rending crows of a French rooster will not help Paris :)

1715923260702.png
 
Last edited:

Saithan

Experienced member
Denmark Correspondent
Messages
8,293
Reactions
24 19,055
Nation of residence
Denmark
Nation of origin
Turkey
I agree that France is still doing their best to retain their colonies. I think supporting indigineous people and their projects through NGO would be a really good move.

The distance to the NC and how French or European can move to NC along with voting rights will just undermine them.

Imagine if China or some other country did the same with Greenland which has around 50k population on that massive land.... for most countries 50k is a spitting in a bucket.

NC should have its own pasport and enforce strict rules for naturalization. (need to be fair) but people that retain EU passport should have no voting rights on national level. local level is ok, municipality and such.
 

Follow us on social media

Top Bottom