Macron arrived in New Caledonia as deadly unrest rocked the archipelago.


French President Emmanuel Macron pushed for a visit to France on Thursday. Riot-torn New Caledonia Police were sent to the French Pacific peninsula to remove barricades from protesters and said “as long as necessary” to help fight deadly unrest, even as security services returned to France to guard the country. In the coming weeks to focus Paris Olympics.

Canceling his previously announced schedule to fly around the world from Paris to New Caledonia, Macron brought the weight of his office to bear on the crisis, which has killed six people and devastated the archipelago. is a trail that local Kanak people have been exploring for a long time. Independence from France.

The pro-independence Knick leader, who rejected Macron's offer to hold video talks a week ago, joined a meeting hosted by the French leader in the capital, Noumea, with rival pro-Paris leaders in New Caledonia. Want, which became French in 1853 during the reign of Emperor Napoleon. III, Remaining part of France.

Macron first called for a minute's silence for the six people killed in the shooting during the violence, including a bisexual. He then urged local leaders to use their power to help restore order. He said that A A state of emergency was imposed by Paris. May 15 may be lifted to extend police powers for at least 12 days only if local leaders demand the removal of barriers that protesters and those trying to protect their neighborhoods have put up in Noumea and It is parked outside.

“Everyone has a responsibility to really call for the removal of barriers, to stop all kinds of attacks, not just to be calm,” he said.

Burnt-out vehicles and other debris have turned parts of Noumea into a no-go zone and made it dangerous to travel around, including for the sick needing medical treatment and for families. Worried about where to find food and water after shops were looted and torched. . French authorities say more than 280 people have been arrested since violence first erupted on May 13 when the French legislature in Paris debated changes to New Caledonia's voter rolls.

Despite a 6pm to 6am curfew and more than 1,000 reinforcements for the peninsula's police and gendarmes, now 3,000 strong, unrest continued to grow.

“I will be very clear here. These forces will be there as long as necessary. Even during the Olympic Games and the Paralympics, which open on July 26 in Paris,” Macron said.

It was late Tuesday in Paris when he set off on the 16,000 km (10,000 mile) journey but, due to the distance and time difference, it was Thursday morning in New Caledonia when he arrived with his interior and defense ministers.

At La Tontota International Airport in Noumea, which remains closed to commercial flights, Macron said on arrival that he “wants to be with the people and to see a return to peace, tranquility and security as soon as possible.”

Later, at Noumea's central police station, Macron thanked officers for confronting what he called “an absolutely unprecedented coup d'état”.

“No one saw it coming with this level of organization and violence,” he said. “You did your duty. And I thank you.”

The violence in New Caledonia is the worst since the 1980s, the last time France imposed a state of emergency on the island of 270,000 people, and decades of struggle for independence between the Kinks and the descendants of colonists and other settlers. There was tension.

Fires, looting and other violence that targeted hundreds of businesses, homes, shops, public buildings and other places around Noumea caused damage estimated at hundreds of millions of euros (dollars). This week, military flights The stranded tourists were evacuated..

“We will discuss economic reconstruction, aid and rapid response, and very delicate political questions, as we will discuss the future of New Caledonia,” Macron said. “By the end of the day, decisions will be made and announcements will be made.”

When asked by a reporter if he thought a 12-hour visit was enough, Macron replied: “We'll see. I have no limits.”

Macron flew to the peninsula under pressure from French politicians and independence supporters to delay or scrap the restoration of New Caledonia's voting system that has sparked unrest. Both houses of the French parliament in Paris have approved the proposed reforms, but their implementation requires an amendment to the French constitution. It will increase the number of voters in New Caledonia's legislature and provincial government elections, to about 25,000 voters, including those who have been residents of the archipelago for at least 10 years and were born there. Other happenings

Opponents fear the move will benefit pro-French politicians in New Caledonia and further marginalize Kannocks, who were once victims of strict segregation policies and widespread discrimination. Proponents say the proposed overhaul is democratically important for people with roots in New Caledonia who currently cannot vote for local representatives.

Macron has in the past facilitated talks between the divided pro- and anti-independence camps. France's efforts included three referendums from 2018 to 2021 asking voters whether they wanted independence. They didn't vote every time, though Last referendum in 2021 Pro-independence forces boycotted.

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Rush reported from Portland, Oregon. Lester reported from Paris.



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