About one hundred tourists were evacuated from New Caledonia

The Australian military has flown 115 passengers on two flights from the restive French Pacific territory of New Caledonia and a French government flight was expected to evacuate another 100 stranded passengers on Wednesday, an Australian government minister said, AP reports.

Six people have been killed, including two police officers, and hundreds have been injured during recent armed clashes, looting and arson in New Caledonia.

The unrest erupted May 13 as the French legislature in Paris debated amending the French Constitution to make changes to New Caledonia voter lists. Opponents fear the measure will benefit pro-France politicians in New Caledonia and further marginalize Kanaks, who once suffered from strict segregation policies and widespread discrimination.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to land Thursday in New Caledonia, where Indigenous people have long sought independence. The unrest has raised new questions about Macron’s handling of France’s colonial legacy.

Australian citizens accounted for 84 of the passengers who were flown on two Royal Australian Airforce C-130 Hercules from the capital Noumea to the Australian east coast city of Brisbane late Tuesday, Pacific Minister Pat Conroy said.

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