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New Caledonia: why the mobilization turned into a riot ?

An independentist mobilization against the constitutional reform on the enlargement of the local electoral body left place à scenes of unprecedented violence à Nouméa, in New Caledonia. What are the reasons for anger?

Scenes of violence and chaos. Violent clashes broke out in New Caledonia, more particularly in Nouméa and Grand Nouméa, on the night of Monday 13th   Tuesday May 14 and after a day already agitated. The toll of these chaotic hours is heavy: hundreds of cars burned, more than thirty businesses and businesses burned as well as houses according to a group of representatives of employers. The clashes fortunately did not result in any deaths according to the High Commissioner of the Republic of New Caledonia, but 54 gendarmes were killed. ; injured and 82 people arrested according to the count of the Ministry of the Interior. The toll could have been more serious given "the tense shootings with large caliber weapons, large hunting rifles" which broke out in the night according to the High Commissioner of the Republic.

The situation is still tense this Tuesday à Noumea and the mayor, Sonia Lagarde, say they fear a "kind of civil war" as reported by New Caledonia 1st. The Caledonian government has called for calm while measures were taken to prevent the scenes of the day before from recurring. A curfew is in place throughout the year. from 6 p.m. this Tuesday until 6 p.m. 6 a.m. tomorrow morning (i.e. from 9 a.m. this Tuesday, Paris time), gatherings on public roads are prohibited and several schools, boarding schools and businesses are closed . The authorities have also deployed four squadrons of mobile gendarmerie as well as all the GIGN teams.

The anger of independentists against constitutional reform…

The altercations and the surge of violence broke out throughout the country. on the sidelines of an independentist mobilization against the constitutional reform examined and voted on at the national level. the National Assembly this Tuesday, May 14. The text aims à expand the electoral body of the archipelago, particularly for provincial elections, capital elections in New Caledonia, or regional elections. rendms. The reform has already taken place. été adopted by the Senate – thanks to the votes of the majority presidential, from the right and from the far right" – and must be passed by the Assembly to be approved, but this measure divides the Cal& Donians. On the one hand, loyalists are in favor à the measure, while on the other hand, the independentists are firmly opposed to it. Supporters of an independent New Caledonia believe that with this reform the State is seeking to achieve its goals.  "even further minimize the indigenous Kanak people", who are the majority and represent 40% of the population, but tend to become more vulnerable. shrink.

The conditions for having the right to vote in the above-mentioned ballots are strict and have been implemented. frozen in 1998 to guarantee the Kanak people representative representation. correct: you must therefore have the nationality Caledonian and have resided in in New Caledonia between 1988 and 1998 or be the child of a parent who was in this situation. The constitutional reform would open access to voting to people living for at least ten years in the archipelago.

… in an explosive context

The independentists make their opposition heard the constitutional reform which they consider as a "forcible passage" of the State in the words of the general secretary of the Caledonian Union (independentist party), Dominique Fochi, & ;agrave; AFP. Some like Kanak senator Robert Xowie, contacté by Le Monde, see with this intervention for the enlargement of the electoral body a new form of French colonialism ;ccedil;ais.

The anger of the independentists is exacerbated by the context in which New Caledonia has been operating for several years with discussions on the independence of the archipelago. If the "no" &agrav; independence took it away. after the three self-determination referrals, discussions continue on a new status for self-determination. agreement to the territory. The fact remains that they are making little progress.

Violence condemned for the independence movement

If they oppose constitutional reform, the independence movements do not condone and condemn the violence observed in New Caledonia in recent hours. Pierre-Chanel Tutugoro, the president of the UC-FLNKS party in Congress, calls on everyone to take action. "put your foot down" and à let the dialogue continue and à "éprevent the street from taking over" relays NC 1ère.

A position shared by Jean-Pierre Djaïwé, president of the National Union for Independence (UNI) party . The politician regrets this loss of control according to the local media: "À from the moment when ù the debate […]arrives in the street, çit becomes complicated. Clear slogans are needed so that actions on the ground, sometimes necessary, are sufficiently controlled and do not become nonsense.' ;quot; He also denounces the lack of political consciousness of certain demonstrators: "When we are dealing with & people who are not politically aware, the action no longer aims to achieve a political result but ultimately degrade things. This is not about playing politics. Both therefore call for calm & the continuation of the discussions which "are in progress".

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116