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Pres. Macron Heads to New Caledonia as Death Toll from Unrest Increases to 6

HeadlineMay 21, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron is heading to New Caledonia and sending in more troops as tensions continue to rise in the Pacific archipelago. Australia and New Zealand are evacuating their citizens. Six people have been killed in recent clashes. The crisis was triggered after France moved to allow French residents who have lived in New Caledonia for 10 years to vote in provincial elections. Some 40% of the population of New Caledonia is Kanak, but the island has been under French rule since its colonization in the 19th century. Kanak activist Viro Xulue says France is bringing civil war back to New Caledonia.

Viro Xulue: “Not only the Kanak, we have some Polynesian people, people from Vanuatu here who lives here, Fiji and some people from France, as well. They are helping Kanak people — not only the Kanak people, not only the political independence party here, everyone here. But it’s really hard, because we are really scared about the police, the French soldiers, and we are scared about the anti-Kanak militia terrorist group.”

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