New Caledonia police patrol the streets with burnt cars

STORY: :: New Caledonia police patrol the streets with burned cars

after protesters blocked key roads

::13. May 2024

:: Noumea, New Caledonia

:: The international airport is closed and a curfew is in effect,

according to the French High Commission

::Thio, New Caledonia

:: Protesters fear proposed changes

The Constitution may weaken the voting rights of the Kanak indigenous people

The New Caledonian government called for calm and condemned the destruction of property. Video showed police officers patrolling the streets amid burned-out cars and clouds of smoke after protesters set up blockades on key roads on Monday (May 13).

The protests and violence occurred on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s debate in the French National Assembly on changes to New Caledonia’s constitution. The proposed changes would allow more French residents to vote in New Caledonia’s elections, which independence advocates fear will weaken the indigenous Kanak vote.

The French High Commission said in a statement that there had been significant unrest in the capital, Nouméa, and surrounding communities, with numerous buildings damaged, including shops, pharmacies and car dealerships. So far 36 people have been arrested.