Three killed in riots after France backs New Caledonia vote changes

At least three people have been killed in the worst unrest in New Caledonia in more than 30 years, as rioting continued and schools remained closed after France adopted controversial reforms to the Pacific territory’s voting rules.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday convened a defence and national security council meeting to discuss the riots, cancelling a scheduled trip to a French region. His office said Macron will issue a decree declaring a state of emergency in the territory. The presidency confirmed that three people had been killed and a police officer was seriously injured.

“All violence is intolerable and will be the subject of an unyielding response to ensure the return of republican order,” the presidency said.

Macron wanted to get an “upper hand” on the situation, said Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler, reporting from Paris.

“What we’ve seen in New Caledonia over the past couple of nights are unrest and violence spreading,” she said.

“We know that overnight around 130 people were arrested, according to the French interior minister, shots were fired by some protesters at policemen.”



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