Australia, NZ set to evacuate nationals from New Caledonia

Australia and New Zealand are preparing to fly out their nationals stranded in New Caledonia, a week after deadly violence hit the French Pacific territory.

The Australian government says 300 Australians are stuck in the archipelago. They can't leave because the international airport has been shut since riots broke out.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told local media on Monday the situation is "deeply concerning."
He said the Australian Defence Force is ready to bring those stranded home when commercial flights resume.

New Zealand is making similar plans.

The unrest erupted on May 13. The trigger was a proposal from Paris to let more French residents vote in local elections. Pro-independence islanders oppose the change.

Six people, including two French police officers, have been killed in the riots. About 230 have been detained.

The French government has sent some 1,000 police officers and others to New Caledonia and declared a state of emergency. Authorities have set a curfew, banned alcohol and blocked TikTok.