Death toll in riots, violence in France's New Caledonia rises to 10 since May

Police killed man who shot at them near capital Noumea

12:32 - 10/07/2024 Wednesday
File photo
File photo

The death toll of the riots in France's overseas territory of New Caledonia rose to 10 on Wednesday since the outbreak in May, according to media reports.

A man was killed during the clashes with law enforcement officers in Mont-Dore, near the capital Noumea, the broadcaster NC la 1ere said.

The suspect, Rock Victorin Wamytan, who was a former convict, shot the police during clashes.

Police localized him, shot back, and killed Wamytan, who is the 10th victim of the riots and the violence in the Pacific archipelago since May.

The Pacific archipelago has been gripped by unrest since mid-May that was sparked by a bill to review electoral rules.

If changes to the electoral rules were adopted, French nationals who have lived on the island nation for at least 10 years would have been eligible to vote in local elections.

Locals, however, were concerned that the changes would dilute the indigenous Kanak population's vote.

France declared a state of emergency and deployed additional forces to assist local forces in reinstating order.

Amid dialogue efforts, French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the parliament and announced early elections after the far-right National Rally swept more than 31% of the vote in the European Parliament elections on June 9.

He also announced on June 12 the suspension of the much-contested electoral reform plan in New Caledonia.

#New Caledonia
15 days ago