A 48-year-old man was killed on Friday in New Caledonia by police, a day after Emmanuel Macron's visit aiming to restore law and order in the archipelago. EPA-EFE/LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL


Man shot dead in New Caledonia despite Macron’s visit


A 48-year-old man was fatally shot in New Caledonia just hours after French President Emmanuel Macron visited the island to restore “law and order”.

The public prosecutor in Nouméa, New Caledonia’s capital, reported that the man was shot by an officer who had been “physically attacked” by demonstrators.

“The circumstances [of the death] have yet to be determined, the officer allegedly used his service weapon and fired a shot to get out of the physical altercation”, the local magistrate said.

The officer was taken into police custody and the public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into alleged voluntary manslaughter by a public official.

During his visit, Macron told a local news channel that New Caledonia “is not the Wild West,” insisting that “the Republic must regain authority at all points”.

“I decided to come because violence must never be allowed to take hold,” said the President,  referencing the riots that have erupted in the territory over the past 10 days.

Despite Macron having promised that his administration’s planned electoral reform in the French territory would not be “forced” on the islanders, he insisted that France would grant the right to vote to more people on the archipelago by the end of June.

His visit was designed to open “a dialogue” between the local political forces and the French Government.

In the end, his efforts to bring loyalist and pro-independence leaders together were unsuccessful, as he failed to get the party leaders from the different camps around the same table for discussions.

The island remains in turmoil and violence persists, with the latest fatality bringing the total death toll to seven.