France launches large operation in New Caledonia

  20 May 2024    Read: 869
France launches large operation in New Caledonia

France launched a large-scale operation on Sunday with more than 600 gendarmes in New Caledonia, a colony 17,000 kilometers (10,500 miles) from its territory, to suppress the incidents initiated by the local people in response to the granting of voting rights to French citizens, reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

The operation includes around 600 gendarmes, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on X.

The goal of the operation is to re-establish republican order and regain control of the main 60 km (37 mi) road between the New Caledonian capital Noumea and the airport, Darmanin said.

Nearly 60 roadblocks were neutralized with the help of the national gendarmerie and police, the High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia reported.

Over 200 people have been arrested and 20 food shops reopened so far in the region, Darmain noted.

He said the French government knows that there are still many roadblocks to clear and they gave the firm orders to law-enforcement units.

At least six people have been killed in the unrest and hundreds arrested since Monday.

Protests erupted after the French National Assembly adopted constitutional reform on voting rules. The reform will give French nationals, who have lived on the island for at least 10 years, the right to vote in local elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of emergency in the archipelago on Wednesday and deployed army personnel to the region.

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