VIOLENCE IN NEW CALEDONIA

Pro-independence locals in New Caledonia, France's autonomous region in the Indo-Pacific, oppose the French government's plans for constitutional changes that would lead to a breakdown of power.

During the uprisings that have been going on for a while in the island country, 6 people have lost their lives and thousands of people have been stranded. Following the escalation of tensions in the region, French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to New Caledonia to calm the violence.

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NEW OPERATIONS TO BE PLANNED

Meeting with local leaders, Macron said French security forces would remain in New Caledonia for as long as necessary, adding: "In the coming hours and days, massive new operations will be planned if necessary and the republican order will be completely restored, because there is no other option."

LOCAL PEOPLE'S STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE

Local leaders fear the change will weaken the indigenous Kanak vote and undermine long-standing efforts to secure independence.

"STATE OF EMERGENCY SHOULD BE EXTENDED"

Macron also said, "I think the state of emergency should not be lifted, I think it can be extended. 3 thousand additional security personnel will be sent to the island."

Kanaks, the indigenous people of New Caledonia, make up about 40 percent of the island's population of 300,000.

The French government wants to pave the way for more than 25,000 French voters in New Caledonia to vote in elections through a constitutional amendment

Editor: David Goodman