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France evacuates tourists from ravaged New Caledonia

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Military aircraft from France bring home the tourist who was in New Caledonia when the unrest escalated last week. The photo is of residents demonstrating against Macron’s reform, and was taken on 23 May. Photo: Ludovic Marin / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 25.05.2024 12:13:08

Policy: It is happening because Nouméa airport is closed as a result of the unrest. From Australia and New Zealand, the tourists are flown home by commercial aircraft.

The dispute is about a change in the law that will give the right to vote and thus more political influence to around 25,000 French immigrants who have lived continuously in New Caledonia for over ten years. Until now, the right to vote for anyone who did not live here before 1998 has been “frozen”

The indigenous Kanak people have long fought for independence. They accused the French authorities of going ahead with a controversial reform without taking into account the strong opposition among the majority of the territory’s inhabitants.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the territory on Thursday this week. He then said that the reform will be put on hold until the situation has calmed down and political talks can continue.

In three referendums in 2018, 2020 and 2021, New Caledonia’s residents have voted to remain part of France.

(© NTB)

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