17 May 2024

Death toll rises in New Caledonia

From , 6:01 am on 17 May 2024
A photograph shows a roadblock set up by residents of Noumea's Sixth Kilometer district, bearing a handwritten message which reads as 'Peace' in Noumea, France's Pacific territory of New Caledonia on May 19, 2024. French forces smashed through about 60 road blocks to clear the way from conflict-stricken New Caledonia's capital to the airport but have still not reopened the route, a top government official said on May 19, 2024. (Photo by Delphine Mayeur / AFP)

Photo: AFP/Delphine Mayeur

French security forces are still struggling to restore law and order in New Caledonia four days into widespread unrest in the capital Noumea.

A state of emergency remains in place as reports RNZ Pacific is receiving paints a dire picture. 

Shops running out of food, hospitals calling for blood donations and anger over the deaths confirmed so far.

The head of the main Pacific regional body says violence in New Caledonia was inevitable.

A call for independence issues to be resolved has been sounded by Henry Puna, The chair of the pacific islands forum amid... rioting, looting, injuries and death... 

He says - "to see the collapse [and], protesting is very unfortunate", but it was predictable.

RNZ Pacific's Lydia Lewis has the timeline.