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New Caledonian Evacuees Offer Assistance Amid Persistent Crisis

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Upon coming home, Australians who were evacuated from New Caledonia following almost a week of violent protests have expressed a great sense of relief. Tuesday night saw the arrival of two Royal Australian Air Force aircraft in Brisbane, transporting 108 Australians and foreign visitors who had been left stranded since the French Pacific territory’s international airport had been closed. In a similar vein, 48 persons were evacuated to Auckland by the New Zealand military.

Beginning on Wednesday, France intends to use military aircraft to rescue about 500 people. To begin a discussion mission, French President Emmanuel Macron is anticipated to arrive in the region on Thursday, accompanied by the ministers of the interior and military forces. This visit is in response to the worst upheaval the region has seen in decades, which was brought on by the contentious vote reform proposals of the French government, which native Kanaks fear will diminish their political power.

Mary Hatten and her family were among those aboard the Australia-assisted rescue flights; the family had been vacationing at the usually tranquil location. When Hatten arrived in Brisbane, he called the situation “a mess” and expressed relief. In a similar vein, Gary Salmon, a 20-year veteran of the nickel mining sector in New Caledonia, bemoaned the widespread harm, putting the figure in the billions.

Around 300 Australians are documented as being in or close to Noumea, the capital, despite the fact that many more stay in New Caledonia despite these evacuations. Penny Wong, the foreign minister of Australia, promised to keep working to schedule more flights, giving passengers priority according to need.

On Wednesday, New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters reaffirmed continued collaboration with France and Australia to enable a further rescue flight. According to the French High Commission in Noumea, evacuation flights would continue till the reopening of La Tontouta International Airport. Since the unrest started, over 280 rioters have been arrested and 84 police officers and gendarmes have been hurt, according to the most recent information. There is still a state of emergency in place, which includes limitations on gatherings and the selling of alcohol as well as a curfew at night.

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