New Caledonia State of Emergency to Be Lifted, Says Paris

New Caledonia State of Emergency to Be Lifted, Says Paris

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Seven more mobile force units will soon arrive as reinforcements in New Caledonia, the Elysee presidential palace said in a statement on May 27, also indicating that a state of emergency will end as planned in the French Pacific territory.

The state of emergency is slated to end at 5am on May 28 in New Caledonia capital Noumea (8pm on May 27 in Paris), Reuters reported.

Seven people have been killed, hundreds arrested and large numbers of buildings and cars destroyed in a fortnight of upheaval triggered by a contested electoral reform and fueled by sharp economic disparities between the indigenous Kanak population and people of European background.

Police shot dead a man on the evening of May 24, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron visited to try to calm tensions.

The arrival of an additional 480 gendarmes will bring the number of French security forces in the Pacific territory to some 3,500.

Macron’s decision not to renew the state of emergency illustrates Paris’ desire to start the process of de-escalation and re-establish conditions for dialogue, the statement added.

The main pro-independence Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) political coalition issued a communique on May 25, saying the priority was easing tensions and the only viable solution was a “political and non-repressive solution”.

Lifting the state of emergency was intended to allow FLNKS to meet, the French statement said.

Macron noted that “the lifting of the roadblocks is the necessary condition for the opening of concrete and serious negotiations”, it added.

Christian Tein of the Field Action Coordination Cell, which organized the roadblocks that are impeding movement and the supply of food and medicine across the island, said on May 25 that the cell remains mobilized.

“We maintain the resistance in our neighborhoods in a structured, organized way,” he said.

No announcement was made on a night curfew imposed by the local authorities in New Caledonia.

The operator of Noumea international airport has announced the facility will remain closed until June 2.

Most Visited in Other Media
Top Other Media stories
Top Stories