64 Police Injured, Nearly 200 Arrested in New Caledonia Riots

The High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia announced in a statement on Wednesday that one gendarme was killed while 64 others were injured during the ongoing civil unrest in the French territory. Furthermore, nearly 200 rioters have been arrested, while five “sponsors of the unrest” were placed under house arrest.

The High Commission further stated that searches would soon be enacted “in the coming hours” in order to “restore order and ensure the protection of the population.”

The statement announced that an air bridge between the French Republic and New Caledonia has been established in order to “quickly transport internal security, civil security, and military reinforcements but also equipment to ensure that the essential needs of the population are taken into account.” Before stating that La Tontouta Airport has been closed to commercial flights. In response to the riot, the French government declared a state of emergency in the territory, deploying military personnel in an effort to quell the unrest.

The riots follow the tabling of a constitutional amendment by the French Parliament expanding who is able to vote in the territory, leading a number of pro-independence factions to organize demonstrations against the change.

The statement issued by the High Commission.