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23 Jul 14:02

About our New Caledonia news

Latest news on New Caledonia after mass protests erupted in the French territory that comprises dozens of islands in the South Pacific.

Mass protests erupted in New Caledonia in May 2024 after France's parliament voted to allow French residents who have lived in the Pacific Islands territory for 10 years or more to vote in provincial elections. The French government argues that these reforms support democracy, but the Indigenous Kanak community, which makes up 40% of the population, fears this will undermine their efforts to achieve independence from France.

In response, France deployed troops to New Caledonia’s ports and international airport, banned TikTok, and imposed a state of emergency on May 16. Anger among the Kanak people has been simmering for weeks over proposed amendments to the French constitution that would dilute a 1998 accord limiting voting rights.

As of June 2024, Macron has called for the de facto suspension of the constitutional reform following the dissolution of the National Assembly.

New Caledonia has been a French territory since the late 1800s. Today, the political landscape is still dominated by the debate over whether the islands should remain part of France, become autonomous, or gain full independence, with opinions largely divided along ethnic lines.

New Caledonia is a French overseas territory situated in the Melanesia region and is part of the archipelago known as the Loyalty Islands. New Caledonia operates as a special collectivity of France, with a unique political status granting it a high degree of autonomy. The country is divided into three provinces, with Nouméa serving as its capital and largest city. New Caledonia is celebrated for its landscapes, from rainforests and mountain ranges to lagoons and coral reefs, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island is home to diverse flora and fauna, including the distinctive New Caledonian crow and the kagu, a flightless bird found only on the island. New Caledonia's economy is supported by nickel mining, of which it is the world's fifth largest producer, and ferroalloys. The country's political landscape is influenced by its unique status within the French Republic and ongoing discussions about potential independence.

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