Extra French Police to Stay in New Caledonia, Macron Says

In a recent announcement that underscores the French government’s commitment to maintaining order and stability in its overseas territories, President Emmanuel Macron has declared that additional French police forces will remain stationed in New Caledonia. This decision comes amid ongoing tensions and a complex political landscape in the South Pacific archipelago, highlighting France’s strategic interests and responsibilities in the region.


Context and Background:

New Caledonia, a French territory located in the South Pacific, has a unique status and a tumultuous history marked by calls for independence and occasional unrest. The territory has been a focal point for political and cultural clashes between the indigenous Kanak population and the descendants of European settlers. Over the years, there have been several referendums on independence, the most recent of which resulted in a majority vote to remain part of France, though with a significant portion of the population favoring independence.

Reasons for Increased Police Presence:

The decision to keep extra police in New Caledonia is primarily driven by the need to ensure public safety and maintain order, especially in light of recent disturbances and protests. The additional police forces were initially deployed to manage the heightened tensions during and after the latest independence referendum. Their continued presence is seen as necessary to prevent violence and protect both residents and infrastructure.

Macron’s Statement:

President Macron emphasized that the extended deployment of French police is a measure to uphold stability and support the rule of law in New Caledonia. He reassured that this decision is aimed at creating a secure environment for all inhabitants, facilitating peaceful coexistence, and enabling the local government to address the pressing socio-economic issues facing the territory.

Local Reactions:

Reactions to Macron’s announcement have been mixed. Supporters of remaining with France see the continued police presence as a necessary step to ensure safety and stability. However, proponents of independence view it as a reminder of France’s control and a potential obstacle to their aspirations for sovereignty. There are concerns that the extended police presence could exacerbate tensions and hinder efforts toward reconciliation and dialogue.

Implications for the Future:

The extended presence of French police in New Caledonia highlights the delicate balance France must strike between maintaining order and addressing the legitimate aspirations of the territory’s indigenous population. It underscores the ongoing challenges of decolonization and self-determination in a world where former colonial powers still exert significant influence over their territories.


President Macron’s decision to keep extra French police in New Caledonia reflects a broader strategy to ensure stability in the region while navigating the complex political landscape of the territory. As New Caledonia continues to grapple with its future, the presence of French law enforcement will play a crucial role in maintaining peace and security, albeit with mixed reactions from the local population. The situation remains a delicate test of France’s ability to manage its overseas territories in a manner that respects the aspirations of all its inhabitants.

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