Emmanuel Macron loses grip as ‘out of control’ French territory overrun by rioters

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun16,2024

Emmanuel Macron is facing a political crisis after France “lost control” of parts of its territory, according to a French government representative. Louis Le Franc, the high commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia, admitted areas of the Pacific territory have “escaped” state control.

The chilling admission comes as the number of French police and gendarmes deployed to the island soared to 2,700 on Friday. The armed reinforcements were seen moving through the capital Noumea carrying rifles and wearing riot gear.

New Caledonia has suffered five days of riots, which has left at least five people dead, including two police officers and three indigenous residents.

Hundreds have been injured on the island which sits between Australia and Fiji. A total of 64 of those injured are police and security forces.

Around 200 people out of the more than 5,000 rioters have been arrested so far. The rioters have burned buildings, wrecked vehicles, barricaded and looted shops.

The crisis in New Caledonia erupted on Monday after a move in Paris to change the territory’s voting rules.

President Macron, who has sought to re-assert his country’s role in the Pacific region, has struggled to quell the anger on the island, which historically served as a prison colony for France and now hosts a French military base.

He granted the high commissioner state of emergency powers to impose “a calmer and more peaceful situation” on the island.

TikTok has been banned because it was being used by protesters, according to authorities. Mr Le Franc said reinforcements have been deployed to “control the areas which have escaped our control in recent days and to reconquer all the areas of the urban area which we have lost”.

Specialists in mine clearing have been sent over to remove barricades that rioters have booby-trapped.

France’s Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, has said authorities would push for “the harshest penalties for rioters and looters”.

The Field Action Co-ordination Cell (CCAT), which organised the original protest on Monday, blamed the French government for the violence, saying it held Paris “responsible for the loss of human life, the atrocities and the destruction of the country’s economic fabric”.

Earlier this week, the French National Assembly debated whether to allow French residents who have lived in New Caledonia for 10 years to vote in provincial elections – a move some local leaders fear will dilute the indigenous Kanak vote which makes up about 41 percent of the population.

President Macron has said French lawmakers will vote to adopt the constitutional change by the end of June unless New Caledonia’s politicians can strike a new deal.

There have been historic tensions simmering on the island between indigenous Kanaks seeking independence and descendants of French colonisers who want to remain part of France.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Emmanuel Macron loses grip as ‘out of control’ French territory overrun by rioters”
  1. It’s a concerning situation in New Caledonia. Macron needs to address the escalating violence and restore order to the territory. The use of emergency powers is a step, but more sustainable solutions are needed to prevent further unrest.

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