21 May 2024

French president Emmanuel Macron is to visit violence-hit New Caledonia

10:04 pm on 21 May 2024
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech in Nouméa on 26 July 2023

Emmanuel Macron Photo: Supplied

French President Emmanuel Macron is traveling to New Caledonia, signaling French authorities' growing confidence that reinforced security and emergency measures are bringing unrest on the French Pacific territory under control.

Government spokesperson Prisca Thevenot announced the trip. "He will go there tonight," she said Tuesday.

The previously unannounced trip required a shake-up of Macron's schedule. He had previously planned a trip on Wednesday to Normandy in northern France.

Instead, he will be heading to the archipelago 10 time zones away from Paris, east of Australia, that has been gripped by deadly armed clashes, looting, arson and other mayhem.

A state of emergency was declared by Paris last week and 1000 reinforcements rushed in to bolster security forces that lost control of some parts of the capital, Nouméa.

"The return to calm is starting to arrive," the spokesperson said.

- AP

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