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New Caledonia rebels against France. Paris accuses Azerbaijan of fueling the riots

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According to the United Nations, there are only a dozen or so colonies left in the world. One of them is New Caledonia, located in the Pacific, controlled by France. Violent riots have been going on in the archipelago for several days. The indigenous people demand independence. The situation has become so serious that President Emmanuel Macron is on his way. France accuses Azerbaijan of stoking anti-French sentiments – it's not a mistake, yes, it's about a country in the Caucasus.

The era of colonialism is not over yet. In the eyes of the locals, France is the oppressor. Protests have been going on for a week against the authorities residing in Paris, located several thousand kilometers away. Blood was spilled, cars were burning, and makeshift barricades were being built in the streets.

New Caledonia has belonged to France since 1853. According to the UN, there are only a dozen or so colonies left in the entire world. The archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean is one of them.

The indigenous population – the Kanaks – once again demands independence. – Everything is burning. People lose control of themselves, they shoot at each other. I have never seen so much violence, said Olivia Iloa, a student and resident of New Caledonia. – People are looting shops, I saw fires in docks, warehouses and offices – described Yuan Fleurot, a resident of New Caledonia.

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The Kanaks oppose changes in the law, which assume that the right to vote in New Caledonia, inhabited by 270,000 people, will also be granted to French visitors who have been living in the archipelago for at least 10 years.

Destruction in New CaledoniaReuters

“Everything suddenly exploded”

Indigenous people fear losing any control over their land. They are already a minority, which was visible in several independence referenda. The supporters of remaining in France always won.

– Nobody thinks about us. We have been hearing about equality and equal distribution of wealth for years, but it has never happened, one of the Kanaks told journalists. – It feels like we have been shouting in a vacuum for years and now everything has suddenly exploded – said Dominique Fochi, secretary general of the pro-independence Caledonian Party. – We feel oppressed, we are angry. Nobody wants to listen to the voice of the Kanak people, said the woman, an indigenous resident of the island.

Several people have already been killed in the riots, including two French gendarmes, and several hundred people have been injured. Australia and New Zealand evacuated their citizens. The fighting takes place mainly under the cover of darkness.

Paris declared a state of emergency in New Caledonia. He arrested the leaders of the riots and sent over two and a half thousand additional police and gendarmes to the site. Emmanuel Macron announced a trip to the rebelling colony.

– Macron, his government and ministers are bringing civil war to New Caledonia. This is a civil war, said Viro Xulue, a supporter of independence.

What do Azerbaijanis have to do with all this?

Paris accuses Azerbaijan of stoking anti-French sentiments. Azerbaijan and New Caledonia are separated by almost everything and almost 14,000 kilometers. In a sense, the Azerbaijanis are taking revenge for France supporting their enemy, Armenia, so they are unofficially supporting the Kanaks.

According to the French services, several thousand fake accounts from Azerbaijan are behind the disinformation campaign on social media, which attacks the French police and focuses on social inequalities in New Caledonia, and there is no shortage of them. Supporters of the peaceful fight for independence say that the archipelago is a paradise on Earth only in tourist brochures.

SEE ALSO: Barricades along the road removed, but the main town remains “under siege”. France has a growing problem in the Pacific

– We are dealing with huge contrasts. In the same town there are people who live without drinking water, without electricity, far from the education system. And on the other side of the city we have beaches like on the French Riviera – described Dominique Fochi.

China and Russia are also said to be behind the increased tension in New Caledonia. Kremlin propaganda for this occasion dresses in the guise of human rights defenders and calls for “respect for the rights and freedoms of the indigenous people of New Caledonia and other French-controlled overseas territories.”

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters

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