France transfers troops on 16,000KM assignment to battle conflict

(MENAFN) Following a wave of violent unrest that erupted in New Caledonia, France has taken the unprecedented step of deploying troops to its Pacific Ocean territory. The decision comes in response to the deaths of four individuals amid clashes sparked by proposed constitutional reforms.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced the deployment of troops on Wednesday, emphasizing the need to "secure" key infrastructures such as ports and airports across the French-administered archipelago. Attal also disclosed that the popular social media platform TikTok had been banned, citing its alleged role in fueling riotous behavior.

A state of emergency has been declared in New Caledonia, slated to remain in effect for 12 days. Since the outbreak of unrest, over 130 individuals have been arrested by French authorities.

Situated between Australia and Fiji, New Caledonia stands as one of several territories under French control in the contemporary post-colonial landscape. With a population of approximately 300,000, the indigenous Kanak people constitute around 40 percent of the populace.

The current unrest, marked by the deaths of three indigenous individuals and a police officer, represents the most significant outbreak of violence in New Caledonia in over four decades. The turmoil was ignited on Monday following proposals in Paris to grant long-term French residents in New Caledonia voting rights after a decade of residence. However, local independence activists fear that this reform will undermine the voting influence of the indigenous Kanak population. While the constitutional amendment has received approval from both chambers of the French Parliament, its ultimate adoption hinges on a joint session of the National Assembly and Senate.



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