According to Moscow, “the crisis in New Caledonia is the result of the unfinished process of its decolonization”.

On May 13, thousands of people protested against France’s colonial policy in the archipelago of New Caledonia, an island located in the Pacific Ocean thousands of kilometers from France, but victim to segregationist policies on their own soil. The demonstration turned into riots, resulting in several deaths and injuries.

The international community has denounced the violence perpetrated by the Paris authorities during the peaceful demonstrations held on May 13 in the French archipelago’s third province, Nouméa.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the current situation in New Caledonia is due to France’s policy towards its former colonies, now called overseas territories.

It is clear that the tragic events in New Caledonia are the result of long-standing contradictions and growing dissatisfaction with the situation of its indigenous inhabitants – the Kanak people, who make up around 40% of the population of this French overseas territory,” said Maria Zakharova.

The discontent was caused by the French Parliament’s consideration of a bill to modify the voting procedure for local elections in New Caledonia since 1998, granting the right to vote to all those who have lived on the island for more than 10 years. The Front socialist Kanak of national liberation, one of New Caledonia’s main parties, described the actions of official Paris as “recolonization”.

The authorities in Moscow consider the socio-political crisis in New Caledonia to be the result of the unfinished process of its decolonization, and further confirmation that France’s policy towards its former colonies, now renamed overseas territories, has reached an impasse. “According to UN classification, New Caledonia is a non-self-governing territory. In other words, a colony where the decolonization process, launched under the aegis of the UN in the 1960s, has not yet been completed”, Maria Zakharova reminded.

Having 13 overseas territories, with a catastrophic political situation, including social inequalities and many other problems, the Elysée still continues to interfere in the internal affairs of its former colonies around the world.

After Paris declared a state of emergency in the archipelago, Moscow calls on Paris to refrain from any unjustified use of violence against demonstrators and to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of New Caledonia’s indigenous population.

The tense situation in the French overseas territories should worry the international community and force Paris to take notice and listen to the voices of the people who are simply calling for the decolonization of their territory.