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New French crisis meeting on New Caledonia

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A woman waves the flag of the national liberation front FLNKS. The independence movement’s flag is equated with the French tricolor in the territory, which is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Photo: Nicolas Job / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 20.05.2024 01:19:31

Policy: The Ministry of Defense also takes part in Monday’s meeting, which is the third in a week.

Unrest has arisen on the French-governed island, which is a couple of hours’ flight north-east of Australia, following a change in the law passed by the French National Assembly last week. The change will give the right to vote to around 25,000 French people who have lived for more than ten years continuously in the overseas territory. Some local leaders fear that it will affect the indigenous Kanak group.

France has declared a state of emergency in New Caledonia and sent soldiers to take back control of the road between the capital Noumea and the international airport. At the same time, the social platform Tiktok is banned.

New Caledonia is one of 17 territories on the UN’s list of the world’s non-self-governing regions. The island has been French since the middle of the 19th century, but there is an ongoing debate about secession. In three referendums – in 2018, 2020 and 2021 – citizens voted to remain part of France. But the independence movement boycotted the previous vote and said it would never accept the result.

(© NTB)

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