STORY: :: Cars are torched and explosions ring out in Noumea as unrest in New Caledonia drags on

:: May 18, 2024

The riots have been sparked by anger among indigenous Kanak people over a constitutional amendment approved by lawmakers in Paris that would allow French people who have lived in New Caledonia for at least 10 years to vote in provincial elections, which some local leaders fear will dilute the Kanak vote.

Footage obtained by Reuters showed burning cars, people destroying vehicles, makeshift barricades and explosions heard in the capital Noumea. Reuters was able to geolocate the video from nearby buildings, a roundabout, the road layout and greenery which matched satellite imagery.

The upheaval has killed three indigenous Kanak and two police officers. A sixth person was killed and two seriously injured on Saturday during a gun battle at a roadblock in Kaala-Gomen, French police said.