New Caledonia pro-independence leader charged


A pro-independence leader in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia has been charged following deadly riots last month, BBC reported.

Christian Tein, head of the group CCAT ("field action coordination cell"), was arrested on Wednesday alongside several others. CCAT is accused of organising the protests that descended into violence.

Nine people including two police officers were been killed and hundreds more wounded after riots, looting and arson gripped the archipelago.

The unrest broke out in mid-May following controversial electoral reforms proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The reforms would have seen voting rights extended to people who had been in the archipelago for at least 10 years, angering some in the indigenous Kanak community.