France lifts state of emergency in New Caledonia after deadly riots

Topline: French President Emmanuel Macron has lifted the state of emergency in New Caledonia, aiming to foster political dialogue following recent unrest.
The bigger picture: The lifting of the state of emergency in New Caledonia, imposed after violent protests, aims to create a conducive environment for dialogue between pro-independence groups and local leaders.
The unrest, sparked by and changes to voting lists, is testament to the ongoing tension between Indigenous Kanaks seeking independence and those favouring continued ties with France.

Key quote: Macron stated that lifting the state of emergency is “the necessary condition for the opening of concrete and serious negotiations.”

What else to know: Despite the end of the state of emergency, a curfew and bans on public gatherings, transport, and the sale of alcohol remain in place. The main international airport, La Tontouta, will stay closed to commercial traffic until 2 June. Security reinforcements are being sent, with 480 additional gendarmes arriving soon.

What happens next: As Macron pushes for dialogue, pro-independence leaders call for continued resistance against electoral reforms. The next steps involve negotiating between the French government and New Caledonia’s various factions to address the underlying issues and find a peaceful resolution.

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