New Caledonia: New Riots Start After Leaders of Anti-French Uprising Sent to France for Trial

Why does France still maintain all of these colonies?

It can’t be profitable.

Is it something to do with their sense of national identity? Do they still want to civilize the savages, to prove some ideological point?

Or is it just inertia?


Pro-independence protesters burned police vehicles and blocked roads in New Caledonia on Monday, authorities in the French Pacific territory said, as anger erupted over the extradition to France of jailed protest leader Christian Tein.

France’s High Commission in Noumea said in a statement that protesters had also set fire to the town hall in the Koumac commune, as well as destroyed areas in Paita.

Christian Tein is one of the main independence leaders on the island

The Dumbea municipal council said a firefighting vehicle was attacked, possibly by gunshots, and some schools were forced to close due to the protests, which began in May after France voted to approve reforms to allow thousands more French residents who have lived in the territory for 10 years to vote.

Indigenous Kanaks fear this reform will dilute their vote and make it harder for any future referendum on independence to pass, while Paris says the measure is needed to improve democracy.

Daniel Goa, president of Caledonian Union, the biggest pro-independence political party, said in a statement he was “astonished” at the deportation of Tein and six other party officials on Saturday night.

“All they have done has been to organise more peaceful demonstrations,” he said. He denied the prosecutor’s allegations that Tein and the others were sponsors of violence.

Police had arrested Tein, who leads an offshoot of Caledonian Union called Field Action Coordination Cell (CCAT) last week.

CCAT have set up barricades that have disrupted traffic for weeks, and Tein had met French President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to Noumea last month aimed at resolving the political impasse.

If I were the French, I’d probably be trying to get out of the colonialism game.

If you’re not willing to get really brutal, it just doesn’t work anymore.