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Australian Military Airplane Rescues Travellers Stranded In New Caledonia

The closure of New Caledonia airport left travellers stranded causing the use of military airplanes for rescue.

The Australian military transport plane has rescued the first set of travellers who were stranded by the closure of the New Caledonia international airport.

The agitation which led to the closure of the airport began last week, after lawmakers in Paris voted through changes that will allow more French residents to vote in local elections.

This resulted in riots leading to the deaths of 4 civilians and 2 police officers, many injured and over 200 arrested.

An estimate of 3,200 people are waiting to leave New Caledonia.
Australia and New Zealand said that flights with the most urgency would be prioritised.

On Tuesday, France’s High Commission in New Caledonia noted that the airport is closed for commercial flights and for protection of public buildings, the military will be used.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, stated that “the situation in New Caledonia remains dynamic, and New Zealand officials are continuing to work with French counterparts and other partners especially Australia to understand what is needed to ensure the safety of our people there.”

The Australian government has warned people to avoid the airport explaining that the route is “not yet considered safe.”

The local government announced that a decision on whether the airport will reopen is to be reassessed on Thursday.

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