French ‘paradise’ plunges into chaos amid deadly riots forcing terrified Brits to flee holidays

22 May 2024, 13:44

New Caledonia, a French territory, plagued by deadly riots
New Caledonia, a French territory, plagued by deadly riots. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Brits have been forced to flee a French 'paradise' as it is engulfed by a wave of deadly riots, with six people dead and hundreds more injured.

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Riots in New Caledonia have been ongoing for nearly ten days, with shocking violence rocking the French territory.

Shocking photos from the region show cars, shops, and buildings being set on fire in the riots.

They were sparked by the French government approving changes that would give voting rights to non-indigenous residents in the territory.

Countries including the UK, Australia and New Zealand have scrambled to rescue their citizens who have been on holiday in the region.

Violence in New Caledonia is out of control
Violence in New Caledonia is out of control. Picture: Getty
A man walks past a burnt vehicle at an independantist roadblock at Magenta Tour district in Noumea
A man walks past a burnt vehicle at an independantist roadblock at Magenta Tour district in Noumea. Picture: Getty

Meanwhile, the French President Emmanuel Macron is on his way to the territory in a bid to calm tensions.

Read More: Violence in New Caledonia subsides slightly as France sends in reinforcements

Read More: Violence continues in New Caledonia despite France imposing state of emergency

While the territory is no stranger to violence, it is widely considered to be the most intense flare-up in four decades.

Nine people have been killed in the riots
Nine people have been killed in the riots. Picture: Getty

Politicians in New Caledonia have expressed fears over the planned reforms, which they say will dilute the Kanak vote in the Pacific territory.

Macron will meet with politicians on Thursday to "prepare and anticipate reconstruction", according to the French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal.

It comes as more Brits flee the territory as violence escalates.

Macron is on his way to the region
Macron is on his way to the region. Picture: Getty

Dad-of-three Xavier Decramer, a French national, told The Guardian: "It's clearly with a heavy heart that we're going to be leaving this place.

"Bearing in mind my wife was born here, we wanted to settle here.

"It's difficult. We're really torn between the need to put our family in safety … and the feeling that we are leaving people behind here – people who cannot leave."

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