New Caledonia goes into state of emergency as violence escalates


A state of emergency has been declared in New Caledonia after ongoing violence linked to voting reforms.

An extra 1,000 security personnel are being dispatched to the French Territory following the death of a second French policeman.

“The situation in New Caledonia remains very tense, with looting, riots, fires, attacks which are unbearable,” said French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal.

The unrest follows a move to allow outsiders who moved to the territory at least 10 years ago the right to vote in its elections.

New Caledonia has rejected independence in three previous referendums but pro-independence groups say the move would dilute the vote of the indigenous Kanaks, who account for around 40 per cent of the population.

The National Council of Chiefs of the Indigenous Kanak people said the acts of vandalism and gun violence were “unjustifiable”.