New Caledonia: Unrest Prompts French Emergency Declaration

New Caledonia: Unrest Prompts French Emergency Declaration
Image copyright: Remon Haazen/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Paris, May 1, 2024)

The Facts

  • Protests became violent in the Pacific region of New Caledonia Monday after the French parliament granted French residents voting rights on the islands. Clashes in the capital Noumea have left three dead and hundreds wounded.

  • The islands, between Australia and Fiji, are under French rule. A measure allowing French nationals who have been living in New Caledonia for at least ten years to vote in provincial elections set off the recent unrest.

The Spin

Narrative A

Many native Kanaks view the French parliament's decision on Monday to extend voting rights to French nationals in New Caledonia as a violation of the 1998 Noumea Accord, which granted the island increased political autonomy. This does not justify violent riots, but it does demonstrate deep-rooted anger with Paris because the decision will make the Kanaks a minority on their own island.

Narrative B

The deadly violence taking place in New Caledonia is unacceptable and has to stop. Paris has given security forces the power to quell the violence and restore order. The unrest is clearly an unfortunate overreaction. At the moment, Paris' top concern is public safety. Once things have settled, Paris will actively encourage the independence movement to come to Paris for a resumption of dialogue and talks.

Metaculus Prediction

Articles on this story

Sign up to our daily newsletter