evening of riots earlier than a vote on constitutional reform within the Assembly | EUROtoday

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The authorities of New Caledonia launched an enchantment on Tuesday for “reason and calm” after the riots which devastated Nouméa the day earlier than in the course of the examination, by the National Assembly in Paris, of a constitutional revision decried by the separatists .

Vehicles burned, shops looted, clashes between demonstrators and the police… New Caledonia was the scene of violence of “great intensity” on Monday May 13 at a time when, in Paris, deputies had been trying right into a constitutional revision denounced by the independence activists of the archipelago.

“We call for the responsibility of all Caledonians, of our political, institutional, customary, religious, associative and family leaders. We ask them to use all the ways and means at their disposal to restore reason and calm” , wrote the native authorities in a press launch.

“All the reasons for discontent, frustration and anger cannot justify undermining or destroying what the country has been able to build for decades and mortgaging the future,” he added.

A protester waves a flag of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), May 14, 2024 in Nouméa, New Caledonia
A protester waves a flag of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), May 14, 2024 in Nouméa, New Caledonia © Theo Rouby / AFP

Nouméa firefighters stated they acquired almost 1,500 calls in a single day from Monday to Tuesday and intervened on round 200 fires. According to an employers' group, round thirty retailers, factories and different companies had been set on fireplace.

For his half, the High Commissioner of the Republic in New Caledonia reported on Tuesday “tense shooting with large caliber weapons, large hunting rifles, on the gendarmes” in the course of the violence within the commune of Mont-Dore, in addition to burned homes in Nouméa. “We have no deaths, there are no serious injuries for the moment, there could have been some,” declared Louis Le Franc at a press convention, additionally calling for calm.

“Every cause deserves to be defended politically, but it does not deserve to be defended by taking deadly actions against the gendarmes, against the inhabitants, in the Nouméa metropolitan area,” added the excessive commissioner.

Curfew Tuesday

“I have a feeling of sadness,” Jean-Franck Jallet, proprietor of a butchery enterprise saved from the flames by firefighters, instructed AFP. “We have 40 employees, we came close to the disaster. We believed that living together was possible but it didn't work, there are too many lies.”

On Tuesday, the streets of Nouméa and its suburbs had been strewn with the wreckage of burned vehicles and the smoking stays of tires and pallets, in accordance with an AFP correspondent on web site.

Cars burned at a car dealership on May 14, 2024 in Nouméa, New Caledonia
Cars burned at a automotive dealership on May 14, 2024 in Nouméa, New Caledonia © Theo Rouby / AFP

Even if the scenario is calmer on Tuesday, many barricades stay lively. In the Noumean suburbs, a grocery store, compelled to ram in the course of the evening, continues to be looted by the inhabitants, reported this correspondent.

A curfew was decreed from Tuesday 6 p.m. (7 a.m. GMT) to Wednesday 6 a.m. (7 p.m. GMT Tuesday), introduced the state consultant on this territory. In addition, any gathering is prohibited in higher Nouméa, as is the carrying of weapons and the sale of alcohol all through New Caledonia, signifies the excessive fee which invitations the 270,000 inhabitants of the territory to remain dwelling.

Airport and colleges closed

The New Caledonian authorities has introduced the closure of excessive colleges and faculties till additional discover. The worldwide airport is closed and the Aircalin firm has suspended its flights for the day on Tuesday.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who was as a result of go to Nouméa this week, postponed his go to “to allow the authorities to concentrate fully on the current situation.”

The riots broke out on Monday on the sidelines of a pro-independence demonstration towards the textual content examined by the deputies, which goals to increase the citizens for the provincial elections. In accordance with article 77 of the Constitution, the citizens for this poll is the truth is frozen: it’s basically restricted to voters registered on the lists in the course of the 1998 self-determination referendum and their descendants, de facto excluding residents who arrived after 1998 and lots of natives.

One in 5 voters is thus disadvantaged of the best to vote in provincial elections, essential on this territory the place the provinces train many powers transferred by the French state.

For the French Minister of the Interior and Overseas Territories Gérald Darmanin, who carried out this constitutional reform, this provision “is no longer in conformity with the principles of democracy” and “leads to the absurd”.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin delivers a speech on constitutional revision, May 13, 2024 in Paris
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin delivers a speech on constitutional revision, May 13, 2024 in Paris © ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

Two camps are opposed: that of the non-independenceists, in favor of reform, and that of the separatists who quite the opposite see it as a forceful transfer by the State to “even further minimize the indigenous Kanak people”, who represented 41.2 % of the island's inhabitants in the course of the 2019 census, in comparison with 40.3% ten years earlier.

During a tense session, Gérald Darmanin referred to as on deputies to undertake with out modification the reform, which opens the provincial vote to residents who’ve lived on the island for not less than ten years.

While a solemn vote was usually scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, the debates within the National Assembly couldn’t be accomplished in the course of the evening, as a result of a lot of amendments tabled specifically by the group Insubordinate. The new schedule might be carried out on Tuesday morning.

After that of the Senate, the approval of the Assembly is important to maneuver this textual content ahead, earlier than bringing Parliament collectively in Congress to revise the Constitution, on a date which stays to be mounted.

Advocating appeasement, President Emmanuel Macron promised on Sunday to not convene the Congress “in the wake of” the Assembly's vote, in accordance with his entourage, to “prioritize dialogue”.

With AFP