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Burnt vehicles at the Renault dealership in Magenta district, Nouméa Photo: La 1ère

New Caledonia - Figure 1
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A group belonging to New Caledonia's pro-independence movement, UNI (Union Nationale pour l'Indépendance), has released a communiqué saying they were "moved by and deplored the exactions and violence taking place".

Patricia Goa Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

UNI member of New Caledonia's Northern provincial assembly, Patricia Goa, said the violent unrest wkek "affects the whole of our population".

She said it was "necessary to preserve all that we have built together for over thirty years" and that the priority was "to preserve peace, social cohesion".

New Caledonia's President, pro-independence leader Louis Mapou, in a news release from his "collegial" government, appealed for "calm, peace, stability and reason" which, he said, "must remain our goals" in the face of "those events that can only show the persistence of profound fractures and misunderstandings".

New Caledonia - Figure 2
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Louis Mapou Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

He called on all components of New Caledonia's society to "use every way and means to bring back reason and calm".

"Every explanation for these frustrations - anger cannot justify harming or destroying public property, production tools, all of which this country has taken decades to build," he said, strongly condemning such actions.

France's Minister for Interior and Overseas Gerald Darmanin talks during a session of questions to the government on the constitutional bill aimed at enlarging the electorate of the overseas French territory of New Caledonia, at the French National Assembly in Paris, on May 14, 2024. Riots erupted on May 13, 2024 in New Caledonia's main city Noumea over a constitutional reform that is being debated in the French National Assembly in Paris, and which aims to expand the electorate for the archipelago's provincial elections, a reform that is a source of local tension between loyalists and independentists, on May 14, 2024. Photo: MEHDI FEDOUACH

New Caledonia - Figure 3
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In a reference to current debates in the Paris National Assembly on changing the French Constitution - to allow more voters at New Caledonia's local provincial elections - Mapou also appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron, to "bear in mind" that at all times, the priority must remain for a comprehensive agreement to be struck between all political leaders of New Caledonia, to pave the way for the archipelago's long-term political future.

This accord has not taken place and Macron, at the weekend, invited all New Caledonia's leaders to re-start discussions in Paris.

New Caledonia - Figure 4
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Protestors take part in a demonstration led by the Union of Kanak Workers and the Exploited (USTKE) and organisations of the Kanaky Solidarity Collective in support of Kanak people, with flags of the Socialist Kanak National Liberation Front (FLNKS) next to a statue of Vauban, amid a debate at the French National Assembly on the constitutional bill aimed at enlarging the electorate of the overseas French territory of New Caledonia, in Paris on May 14, 2024. France's prime minister on May 14, 2024, urged the restoration of calm in New Caledonia after the French Pacific archipelago was rocked by a night of rioting against a controversial voting reform that has angered pro-independence forces. Photo: LUDOVIC MARIN

New Caledonia - Figure 5
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Back in Paris, debates resumed on Tuesday evening (Paris time) in Parliament, but a vote on a French government-proposed Constitutional change to modify the conditions of eligibility is likely to be delayed and could only take place later this week, in the face of a barrage of amendments filed by the opposition.

Those left-wing MPs are supporting New Caledonia's pro-independence movement in their struggle against a text they believe would seriously affect their political representativity.

The constitutional change is regarded as the main cause of New Caledonia's current unrest.

New Caledonia - Figure 6
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Meanwhile, New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, is this week heading a political delegation in several Pacific island countries and territories, including Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu.

However, the New Caledonian leg of the tour was officially cancelled and will be rescheduled to another date.

As part of the official travel programme, the delegation was to "meet with government, political and cultural leaders, visit New Zealand-supported development initiatives and participate in community activities".

Burnt van and tyres at one roadblock near Nouméa’ Magenta industrial zone Photo: La 1ère

New Caledonia - Figure 7
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