France deploys troops, blocks TikTok in New Caledonia amid riots

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read

France has declared a state of emergency and deployed troops to its overseas territory of New Caledonia following violent protests over a proposed voting rights bill. 

The unrest began in the capital, Noumea, on Monday and escalated despite the bill’s approval by the lower house of the French Parliament.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal confirmed the deployment of troops to secure New Caledonia’s ports and airport at the request of the territory’s high commissioner, Louis Le Franc. 

Lying in the South Pacific neighbouring Australia, Fiji and Vanuatu, New Caledonia is a semiautonomous French territory — one of a dozen scattered throughout the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

In addition, access to the social media platform TikTok has been blocked due to concerns over its role in fueling the unrest.

Cabinet spokesperson Prisca Thevenot announced that the state of emergency, effective from 8 pm Paris time, will remain in place for 12 days. The legislation at the centre of the protests still requires approval from a joint sitting of both houses of the French Parliament.

The proposed changes to voting rights have sparked deep divisions within New Caledonia, a French territory with a significant indigenous Kanak population. The protests highlight ongoing tensions over the island’s political status and its relationship with France.

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