France Bans TikTok in Island Territory After Independence Protests Turn Violent - Latest Global News

France Bans TikTok in Island Territory After Independence Protests Turn Violent

France declared a state of emergency in its territory of New Caledonia on Wednesday after protests against changes to electoral laws turned into violent clashes that left four people dead. The emergency declaration will allow police to severely restrict civil liberties in a variety of ways, including a ban on public demonstrations. But this ban seems to be expanding online as well, as the AFP reports that the declaration includes a ban on TikTok in the South Pacific islands.

The French National Assembly has a new bill in the early hours of Wednesday morning to extend local voting rights to people who came to New Caledonia from mainland France at least 10 years ago. New Caledonia has been a French territory since its first colonization in 1853 and became a penal colony in the second half of the 19th century. Many of the indigenous Kanaks fought for independence over the decades.

Nickel was discovered in New Caledonia in 1864, making it a highly profitable area for the French well into the 21st century, as it is now a valuable ingredient for electric vehicles. Accordingly, New Caledonia is currently the third largest nickel exporter in the world Bloomberg– This helps explain why France was so hesitant to relinquish much control of its colonial possessions. New Caledonia’s location on China’s doorstep, about 750 miles east of Australia, is also seen by France as strategic in the New Cold War.

One concession France did allow after massive and violent protests in the 1980s and 1990s was the 1998 Noumea Accord, which barred all newcomers from mainland France from taking part in local elections. The National Assembly’s vote on Wednesday aims to change all that, giving white French citizens without long-standing generational ties to New Caledonia a chance to weaken the voices of the islands’ indigenous population, who are more pro-independence.

All of which brings us to Wednesday’s emergency declaration, issued by France from 12,000 miles away, after two days of violent protests following previously peaceful demonstrations. The unrest left four people dead, including a police officer and three young indigenous Kanak people, and at least 130 people were arrested, the newspaper said current numbers published by the French High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia.

According to Australia, the emergency declaration will last twelve days ABC News, There is also a curfew from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. local time every night. TikTok is also now banned in the area, as the French authorities accuse the app of helping to organize demonstrations and “attracting troublemakers to the streets,” as they say South China morning post Put it. It’s not immediately clear whether the TikTok ban is permanent or will be lifted after the emergency period expires in 12 days. TikTok did not respond to emailed questions Wednesday evening.

Daniel Goa, a leader of the Independence Party in New Caledonia, condemned any looting and urged young people to go home, but pointed to the anger underlying the unrest.

“The unrest of the last 24 hours shows the determination of our young people to no longer allow themselves to be controlled by France,” Goa said in a statement France24.

According to the organization, France has sent 500 new police officers to New Caledonia to reinforce the existing 1,800 in the territory of around 270,000 people Associated Press. The indigenous people of New Caledonia only received citizenship of their own country in 1957. But French leaders insist that law and order must prevail.

“Violence is neither justified nor tolerable,” French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday, according to an English-language translation by the New Zealand News Agency 1News.

“Violence has never forced anyone to act. It never allowed for dialogue. And only through dialogue and dialogue will we find a global political solution for New Caledonia,” Attal continued.

Click through the slideshow to see more photos from the recent unrest in New Caledonia.

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