The Azerbaijan State News Agency

WORLD

France in hot water as colonies increasingly demand independence

France in hot water as colonies increasingly demand independence

Baku, June 9, AZERTAC

France is struggling with increasing demands for independence from its overseas collectivities -- a legacy of the country's colonial period, Anadolu Agency reports.

The colonies make up 18% of French territory and are home to 2.6 million people.

French collectivities have different political statuses and include Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which are located in the Atlantic Ocean; Reunion, Mayotte and the French Southern and Antarctic Territories in the Indian Ocean while French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna are located in the Pacific Ocean; French Guiana is in South America.

Twelve French colonies, the closest is approximately 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) from France and the farthest is 17,000 kilometers, are far from the mainland in terms of living standards.

Struggling with various socioeconomic problems and complaining about the inadequacy of infrastructure and security services provided by the French administration to the lands, the colonies are demanding more autonomy and independence.

Anadolu compiled the demands of Indigenous rights supporters in French colonies and problems faced by the territories, which came to the fore again with the events in New Caledonia, where independence supporters took action and France used force to suppress protests.

In New Caledonia, which is approximately 17,000 kilometers from the French mainland, the French government's constitutional reform initiative to reduce the influence of the indigenous people in elections has mobilized independence supporters on the island.

The French government's attempt to open the way for French people who have been living on the island for at least 10 years to vote in elections, contrary to the Noumea Treaty signed with the locals in 1988, caused protests.

The French government sent police and gendarmerie to the island to suppress protests that lasted about a month. Seven people were killed in incidents that broke out on the island. A state of emergency, which was declared on May 13, was lifted on May 27 when the situation came under control in the capital, Noumea.

French President Emmanuel Macron did not withdraw the constitutional reform bill during his visit to the island and gave time for dialogue between supporters and opponents.

French Guiana in South America, 7,000 kilometers from France, suffers from security problems.

Undocumented migration and illegal gold mining on the Brazilian border are among the main problems of the colony of 300,000 people, where the murder rates are 10 times higher than the mainland.

Poverty and unemployment rates are high, and residents complain about the government's inadequacy in investments in infrastructure and the health sector.

Almost 40% of the young population in French Guiana goes abroad for education and or work.

The local government is reacting to the fact that Macron promised more autonomy to France's island in the Mediterranean, Corsica, while similar steps were not taken for Guyana.

Gabriel Serville, Speaker of the Parliament of French Guiana, criticized the government's "double standards" in providing more autonomy, stating that the cultural diversity of the island of Corsica, which is 160 kilometers from France, is emphasized but French Guiana, which is 7,000 kilometers, is not seen in the same light.

The Congress of French Guiana voted in 2020 to request greater autonomy under special status. Despite the demand of residents, after nearly four years, no progress has been made in negotiations with the Paris administration on constitutional regulation.

The Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, with a population of 400,000 people located approximately 7,000 kilometers from France, is experiencing security difficulties due to crime rates that are six times higher than the French national average and armed robbery rates that are 20 times higher.

Due to the increasing involvement of young people in crimes, a curfew was imposed in in April for Pointe-a-Pitre, the commercial capital of the island, for those younger than 18.

There were intense protests on the island due to lockdown measures implemented by the French government during the coronavirus pandemic.

France sent security forces to the region to suppress protests spreading in Martinique from other colonies.

Thereupon, while autonomy discussions were under the spotlight again, France's Overseas Territories Minister at the time, Sebastien Lecornu, said Paris was "ready for autonomy negotiations."

After the COVID-19 outbreak protests, demands for autonomy also gained momentum in the neighboring colony of Martinique.

Martinique Executive Council President Serge Letchimy sought support from regional partners to grant the island autonomy status without separating from France. In November, the Congress of Martinique voted in favor of adding an article to the French Constitution allowing laws to be adapted to the social and economic realities of the Island.

In recent years, there have been security problems in Mayotte, a colony in the Indian Ocean, approximately 8,000 kilometers from the mainland.

A drinking water shortage, which has been going on for years, has reached a crisis level on the island with a population of 310,000, which is facing the "worst drought of the century."

In November, the French government created 82 water supply points on the island and began distributing drinking water to residents with soldiers.

On the island, where there is an influx of immigrants, the government decided to make constitutional changes to limit "citizenship acquired by birth."

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced in February that children of immigrants born on the island would no longer "automatically" become French citizens.

With the new regulation, children born on the Island are required to have French parents to become French citizens.

The citizenship restriction was taken against Comoro Island immigrants who were blamed for the deterioration of living conditions on the Island.

On the island, where more than 90% of the population is Muslim, a cholera epidemic, which is generally transmitted through dirty water, has become widespread in recent months.

The French government dispatched 1,700 police and soldiers in April and launched an 11-week operation to control the security situation on the island, which suffers from an irregular flow of immigrants.

According to data, the living standards of Mayotte residents are seven times lower than the French and 77% of residents live below the poverty line.

French Polynesia, which consists of more than 100 islands in the South Pacific with a population of approximately 300,000 and is approximately 16,000 kilometers from the mainland, is protesting the effects of about 200 nuclear tests conducted by France between 1966 and 1996.

The pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party won last year's elections in Polynesia, which was expecting an apology from France for tests that had serious negative effects on the public.

While the Polynesian administration wants to advance the island toward full sovereignty, the French government is not interested in independence negotiations and argues that the island should work to become self-sufficient in agriculture, economy and food before its political independence.

Reunion, which is approximately 9,000 kilometers from France, signed the "Fort-de-France" call with its six accompanying colonies at the end of 2022, demanding more autonomy against the French administration.

The signing by Reunion Regional Council President Huguette Bello created a debate in the Reunion Senate, and right-wingers declared that they would fight to "keep the island French."

Corsica Island in the Mediterranean, known for its proximity to Italy rather than France, has a different history from the colonies but is known for wanting more autonomy.

During a September visit to the island, where pro-independence supporters have a majority in parliament, Macron called for "autonomy unique to Corsica" and gave six months for right-wingers and pro-independence supporters to agree on a common text on autonomy.

In March, the parties agreed on a text granting more autonomy to the island. Progress in autonomy negotiations in Corsica, which has a culturally different identity and historical past, was met with a reaction in the colonies where the government did not show the same approach.

Macron, who achieved overwhelming success against the far-right Marine Le Pen with 66% of the vote in the 2017 elections, could not achieve the same success in the 2022 elections.

Macron was elected for a second time with 58%, Le Pen received around 42% of the vote.

Le Pen overwhelmingly won with around 60% of the vote in the overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Mayotte and Reunion, which voted for Macron in the previous elections.

Le Pen, who received approximately 51% of the vote in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, also received 48% in French Polynesia.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

Hosts Germany defeat Hungary to qualify for EURO 2024 Round of 16

High-Level Meeting themed “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future” continues with panel sessions

Scotland held to 1-1 draw with Switzerland in EURO 2024

Malaysian news portal publishes article headlined "Azerbaijan and COP29"

Turkish defense firm Havelsan expands global reach with advanced defense, civil solutions

European Union issues joint press release on 5th EU-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue

Albania draw 2 - 2 with Croatia with late equalizer

Azerbaijani, Pakistani FMs talk over phone

Foreign Ministry: Instead of provocations and ideas full of political manipulation against Azerbaijan, Armenia must contribute to peace process

Baku-hosted High-Level Meeting features discussions on balancing, mitigation, adaptation and resilience

Japanese firm develops material for batteries with 100-times higher energy density

Azerbaijani junior weightlifter becomes European champion

High-Level Meeting themed “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future” continued with panel sessions

Opening ceremony of the 29th High-Level Meeting themed “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future” held in Baku VIDEO

UN Under-Secretary-General: Our humanity is at the brink of a disaster because of inaction and climate

Hikmet Hajıyev: Azerbaijan is among the countries most severely affected by global landmine problem

Assistant to the President: France's policy of militarization will serve to embolden revanchist forces within Armenia VIDEO

Hikmet Hajıyev: France's policy in the South Caucasus does not contribute in any way to advancing the peace agenda

Azerbaijani President: COP29 to be held in Baku will see the talks on agreeing upon a new collective quantified goal on climate finance post-2025

President: Azerbaijan spares no effort to ensure positive outcomes for the sake of our planet’s future

President Ilham Aliyev: Nizami Ganjavi International Center swiftly gained immense relevance and confidence in a short span of time

President: Addressing challenges faced by the Small Island Developing States will be among priority issues on our COP29 Presidency agenda

To the participants of the 29th High-Level Meeting themed “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future” organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center

Türkiye beat Georgia 3-1 in EURO 2024 Group F opener

Defense Minister: Leadership of Armenia, pursuing a revanchist policy, and Macron dictatorship will bear full responsibility for aggravation of situation in South Caucasus

President of National Assembly of Northern Cyprus invites Azerbaijani Speaker to visit Lefkosa

Turkish firms showcase their products at world's leading defense industry exhibition

Hungarian parliamentarians visit Aghdam

Boston Celtics beat Dallas Mavericks to win NBA finals

COP29 Green Zone Expression of Interest portal is now open for exhibitors and partners

5.9-magnitude quake hits Northern Peru - GFZ

France beat Austria 1-0 thanks to own goal in EURO 2024 Group D match

Baku hosts Forecasting Healthy Futures Global Summit

Euronews: Calls for unified global response to demining at Azerbaijan conference

Slovakia shock Belgium with 1-0 win in Group E match of EURO 2024

Romania hammer Ukraine 3-0 in Group E clash of EURO 2024

Azerbaijani and Turkish FMs discuss preparations for OTS Informal Summit in Shusha

Türkiye aims to transport 236.6M passengers by air this year

Hungarian parliamentarians pay tribute to National Leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani martyrs

England hang on to beat Serbia 1-0 with Bellingham header

Türkiye's gas production up 112% annually as Black Sea discovery boosts output

No winner in Group C showdown between Denmark, Slovenia

Netherlands beat Poland 2-1 in Group D match at EURO 2024

Azerbaijani junior weightlifter snatches three golds in European Championships

Azerbaijan chovgan team becomes world champion

Azerbaijan Army positions in Nakhchivan direction were once again subjected to fire

Event held on anniversary of Military Publishing House

Release of the Press Service of the President

First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva shared post on Eid al-Adha

GUAM countries discussed enhancing cooperation in transportation and communication sectors

President of BRISD and Global Climate Youth Leader, participates in UNFCCC SB60 in Bonn

Spain defeat Croatia 3-0 in Group B game at EURO 2024

President of Northern Cyprus Ersin Tatar congratulates Azerbaijan on National Salvation Day and 3rd anniversary of Shusha Declaration

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulates people of Azerbaijan on National Salvation Day

President Ilham Aliyev shared post on Eid al-Adha

Azerbaijan Army holds series of events on National Salvation Day

Shusha-hosted conference features panel session on "Turkic World-2040: a conceptual vision of the future"

Switzerland beat Hungary 3-1 in Group A match of EURO 2024

Shusha hosts discussions on party diplomacy as a new dialogue platform

Turkish ministers congratulate leadership and people of Azerbaijan on National Salvation Day

Doncic scores 29, Mavericks roll past Celtics 122-84 to avoid a sweep in NBA Finals

Chinese military delegation continues visit to Azerbaijan

Turkish Foreign Ministry: We will be together forever as "One nation, two states"

Earth's climate might have been influenced by sun's passage through dense interstellar cloud: Study

Azerbaijani Premier and Speaker of Milli Majlis visit grave of National Leader Heydar Aliyev in Alley of Honors

Azerbaijan's defense ministry organizes media tour to Military Trophy Park VIDEO

Shusha hosts discussions on regional contribution of Organization of Turkic States to global security

National Leader Heydar Aliyev's services in Turkic world are remembered today with great appreciation, says Deputy Chairman of New Azerbaijan Party

Title holders Italy to play Albania in their EURO 2024 group opener on Saturday

First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva made post on occasion of June 15 - National Salvation Day

Shusha hosts conference on “Organization of Turkic States: towards new strategic goals in context of geopolitical realities and global cataclysms"

Azerbaijani President: Relations between countries of Organization of Turkic States represent a very important factor for stability, security and development

To His Majesty Charles III, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

President Ilham Aliyev: Cooperation among political parties of countries of Organization of Turkic States plays an important role in realization of common goals

Pope warns of potential dangers from AI

To the participants of the international conference on “Organization of Turkic States: towards new strategic goals in the context of geopolitical realities and global cataclysms”

Hosts Germany beat 10-man Scotland 5 - 1 in UEFA EURO 2024 opener

President Ilham Aliyev made post on June 15 - National Salvation Day

COP29 Chief Executive Officer meets with EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan

IOC EB proposes creation of “Olympic Esports Games” to IOC Session

Azerbaijani rower ranks 3rd in BRICS Sports Games Kazan 2024

Azerbaijan Army positions in Nakhchivan direction once again subjected to fire

Baku hosts event on climate change and its impact on population dynamics as part of the "29 Climate Conversations: The Road to COP29" series

Azerbaijan 3x3 basketball team ready for action in FIBA Women’s Series Clermont-Ferrand Stop 2024

Azerbaijan Army’s Chief of General Staff watches tactical-special exercise of engineering units

"Azerkhalcha" OJSC and Aydan Salahova signed a joint project - "Woman" triptych carpet

From Daniel Noboa Azín, Constitutional President of the Republic of Ecuador

Azerbaijani, Bangladesh’s foreign ministries hold political consultations

From Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana

Awareness-raising event on “State guarantees for rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities” arranged as part of Human Rights Month

Azerbaijan, Serbia discuss military cooperation

Coastal Cleanup Initiative organized with COP29 volunteers

From Abdullatif Jamal Rashid, President of the Republic of Iraq

Astana hosts meeting on COP29 preparations

ASCO orders BS new vessels

Azerbaijan exports crude oil and oil products worth $6.258 billion in January-May 2024

AZPROMO, "Enterprise Greece" ink Memorandum of Understanding

4 forest officials killed while extinguishing fire in India's Uttarakhand

Azerbaijani sambo fighter grabs bronze in BRICS Sports Games Kazan 2024

Germany eyes boost in tourism revenue during UEFA Euro 2024