Protestors Block New Caledonia Roads as French Police Pour in

A burnt vehicle is seen in the Normandy industrial zone in Noumea, France's Pacific territory of New Caledonia, on May 20, 2024. (Photo by Theo Rouby / AFP)
A burnt vehicle is seen in the Normandy industrial zone in Noumea, France's Pacific territory of New Caledonia, on May 20, 2024. (Photo by Theo Rouby / AFP)
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Protestors Block New Caledonia Roads as French Police Pour in

A burnt vehicle is seen in the Normandy industrial zone in Noumea, France's Pacific territory of New Caledonia, on May 20, 2024. (Photo by Theo Rouby / AFP)
A burnt vehicle is seen in the Normandy industrial zone in Noumea, France's Pacific territory of New Caledonia, on May 20, 2024. (Photo by Theo Rouby / AFP)

A thousand police arrived in New Caledonia from France and streets were relatively calm, the French High Commission said on Monday, but roads were blocked and the airport remained shut, stranding tourists on the Pacific island after a week of riots.

The activist group organizing the protests in the French-ruled territory, Field Action Co-ordination Cell (CCAT), said in a statement on Monday blockades would continue, urging protestors to use a peaceful approach.

Roadblocks were making it difficult to supply food to stores in several areas and provide secure travel for medical staff, Reuters quoted New Caledonia government officials as saying.

"It's important to point out that the problem is not so much a lack of staff, medical and food supplies but more importantly an access problem," a government statement said.

France's top official in the territory, Louis Le Franc, said on Sunday evening a police operation to regain control of the road from the capital Noumea to the international airport would take several days. Gendarmes had dismantled 76 road blocks.
There are around 3,200 people stuck waiting to leave or enter New Caledonia as commercial flights have been cancelled due to the unrest that broke out last week, the local government said.
The protests were sparked by anger among indigenous Kanak people over a constitutional amendment approved in France that will change who is allowed to participate in elections, which local leaders fear will dilute the Kanak vote.
Six people have been killed and the unrest has left a trail of burnt businesses, torched cars, looted shops, and road barricades, cutting off access to medicine and food.
Three of those killed were indigenous Kanak youths and two were police officers. A sixth person was killed on Saturday during a gun battle between two groups at a roadblock, French police said.
The business chamber said 150 companies had been looted and burnt.
Pro-independence political parties said they want the French government to withdraw the electoral reform before they restart talks.



Russia Launches Missile Attack on Kyiv and Surrounding Region

Firefighters work at a site of a household item shopping mall hit by a Russian air strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine May 25, 2024. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Firefighters work at a site of a household item shopping mall hit by a Russian air strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine May 25, 2024. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
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Russia Launches Missile Attack on Kyiv and Surrounding Region

Firefighters work at a site of a household item shopping mall hit by a Russian air strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine May 25, 2024. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Firefighters work at a site of a household item shopping mall hit by a Russian air strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine May 25, 2024. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

Russia launched three missiles overnight on Ukraine, with air defense systems destroying two of the weapons over the Kyiv region, Ukraine's Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Sunday.
In his statement on the Telegram messaging app, Oleshchuk did not say what happened to the third missile.
There were no immediate reports from Ukrainian officials of damage or injuries as a result of the attack.
Kyiv, its surrounding region and several others across Ukraine were under air raid alerts for about an hour on Sunday morning, starting at 4:50 a.m. local time (0150 GMT).
Reuters witnesses reported hearing several blasts in and around Kyiv at the time that sounded like air defense systems hitting air weapons.