France's neo-colonial policy is cracking - protests in New Caledonia are beginning of end-ANALYSIS

# 16 May 2024 15:29 (UTC +04:00)

The world is facing the most ruthless and obvious manifestation of neo-colonial politics in the 24th year of the 21st century.

France has sent troops to the New Caledonia archipelago, 20,000 kilometers away from its borders - in the Pacific Ocean. France has taken control of all the ports and airports of the region to which it has given the status of a special administrative territory, imposed a curfew on the archipelago, and banned access to social networks.

Official Paris explained the step by the need to restore public order due to mass riots on the island. However, the riots in New Caledonia were ignited by the French authorities themselves.

Paris decides to change the constitution to control New Caledonia's aboriginal population of Kanaks and prevent them from becoming an overwhelmed majority on the Island State. According to the amendment, anyone who has lived in New Caledonia for more than 10 years is granted to vote in local elections.

This is a violation of the agreement signed in 1998 between the French authorities and the local government of New Caledonia. Because according to that agreement, residents living in the archipelago and their children were included in the voting list until the agreement entered into force.

This amendment also gives a right to vote to new residents who have moved to the island from France in recent years and make up 20% of New Caledonian residents. By taking this measure, the official Paris is trying to increase the French population on the island, which is decreasing every year, to use them as a "fifth column" and to nullify the desire for independence of the aboriginal Kanaks.

Because the Macron government is interested in keeping the Kanaks, who currently make up 41% of the population in New Caledonia and whose weight in the total population is increasing year by year, as an influential minority. It is for this reason that they went to change the Constitution and use force against the legitimate protests of the Kanaks. The Kanaks know that with the new change, the future of the island will be taken away from them, the electorate will change in favor of the French, and they protest against it.

The mission of suppressing the protests is carried out by Louis Le Franc, the high commissioner of France, who plays the role of viceroy in the region and was chosen because of his special hatred for the Kanaks. The killing of at least 3 local Kanak youths and the imprisonment of hundreds of Kanaks in the protests in Nouméa, the capital of New Caledonia, is a manifestation of this hatred.

Commissioner Louis Le Franc blamed local Aborigines for the deaths and destruction in the clashes. According to him, those who died during the protests were not shot by the police, but by the local civil defense forces.

Apparently, the colonial authorities and their subordinate local law enforcement agencies are willing to resort to any kind of disinformation to justify the use of disproportionate force.

Currently, it is reported that a state of emergency has been announced in New Caledonia, a wave of repression has taken place, mass arrests of Kanaks have taken place, 2 political figures who demanded the independence of the archipelago, who were the leaders of the protests, have been put under house arrest, and the rights of citizens have been restricted.

Currently, 1800 French police and gendarmerie are stationed in the archipelago. Despite the attempts to suppress the protests, police brutality and mass arrests, Macron government has fueled the Kanaks' determination to fight.

It can be expected that protests for New Caledonia's independence will escalate to a higher level. Many countries around the world, especially Azerbaijan, are closely watching these people's protests. In this regard, it is necessary to note the meetings and conferences held in Baku in support of people suffering from French imperialism.

At the same time the joint statement issued by the Baku Initiative Group and the 14 political movements fighting for independence in the last colonies of France (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Corsica) carries significant political importance regarding the events in New Caledonia.

The Baku Initiative Group and political representatives of the regions victimized by French colonialism have expressed their full solidarity with the Kanak people, calling on France to cease its colonial policies and grant the Kanak people the right to freely resolve their own demands.

The statement shows that along with New Caledonia, the other colonies exploited by France also wanted independence and this desire could not be suppressed by force.

Official Baku's active, fair stance based on international law in the collapse of France's neocolonialism policy is met with concern in Paris. Paris cannot digest Baku exposing its racist, neo-colonialist facade. There is no other name for French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin's absurd claims against Azerbaijan regarding the events in New Caledonia.

The minister, in his interview with "France 2" channel, claimed that Azerbaijan is supposedly "interfering" in the riots in New Caledonia and that supporters of independence in the archipelago had allegedly made some "deal" with Azerbaijan.
These statements, voiced without presenting any facts or evidence, can actually be interpreted as an expression of the anxiety caused by France facing the truth. Instead of understanding the futility and trampling on the rights and demands of indigenous peoples, official Paris seeks to deflect local residents' protests onto external circles, thereby making itself a laughing stock.

Official Baku's response to Darmanin's baseless accusations contains exactly this. Instead of accusing Azerbaijan of supporting the protests of independence supporters in New Caledonia, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised directing attention to the unsuccessful policies concerning overseas territories that have caused such protests. Darmanin was reminded of his country's history of committing crimes against humanity against indigenous peoples and massacring millions of innocent people as part of its colonial policy for many years.

Thus, we see that France's neo-colonial policy, which continued into the 21st century, is gradually beginning to collapse. The chain reaction that will be triggered by the events in New Caledonia suggests this.

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