France deploys reinforcements to quell deadly New Caledonia riots

France has deployed hundreds of police to quell riots in its overseas territory of New Caledonia, where a state of emergency is in place. Five people, including two gendarmes, have died during four days of clashes.

A second gendarme was killed on Thursday by an "accidental gunshot" that Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said was "not hostile".

It comes a day after the deaths of a 22-year-old gendarme, who was shot in the south-western coastal village of Plum, and three young indigenous Kanaks.

Hundreds of others have been wounded in the worst unrest the Pacific island has seen since the 1980s.

Pro-independence, largely Indigenous inhabitants are protesting against a French plan to impose new voting rules that would increase the number of people eligible to participate in elections.

Under the bill, French residents who have lived in New Caledonia for 10 years will be allowed to vote in provincial elections.

Pro-independence leaders fear this will dilute the Kanak vote.


France has sent 500 security forces to support the 1,800 police and gendarmes already in the overseas territory.

Darmanin published a video to social media showing the arrival of police officers and gendarmes.

TikTok had been banned because it was being used by rioters, he said.

Read more on RFI English

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