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‘Azerbaijan is behind violence in New Caledonia’


NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 17:06

  • Frank Renout

    France correspondent

  • Frank Renout

    France correspondent

France believes the current violence in New Caledonia is being stoked from overseas. This is able to occur from the previous Soviet state of Azerbaijan. That nation helps independence fighters in New Caledonia.

Through the demonstrations in current days – to many individuals’s shock – the nationwide flag of Azerbaijan flew subsequent to that of New Caledonia, despite the fact that the nation is sort of 14,000 kilometers away. Demonstrators walked with T-shirts with the print: “Groupe d’Initiative de Bakou” (GIB), a foyer group of Azerbaijan. Photographs of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have been noticed within the capital Noumea.

The federal government in Paris speaks of international interference. Relating to Azerbaijan: these usually are not fairy story tales, they actually occur, Inside Minister Gérald Darmanin mentioned final week. “A number of the independence fighters have made agreements with Azerbaijan.”

Cooperation treaty

The federal government in Baku denies the allegations and speaks of “lies and unfounded accusations”. However in New Caledonia there is no such thing as a secret about it. A month in the past, the Parliament of the Abroad Territory and the Parliament of Azerbaijan signed a cooperation treaty. “We want assist and see no different choice than to show to different nations,” mentioned Caledonian parliament speaker Roch Wamytan.

It has been stressed for nearly per week on the French archipelago east of Australia. Demonstrators took to the streets, photographs have been fired and fires have been set, there have been harsh confrontations with the police and blockades have been arrange in all places by armed demonstrators. Six deaths have been reported to this point.

The direct cause for the violence is French plans to provide extra French folks in New Caledonia the best to vote. The unique inhabitants, the Kanaken, are afraid that this may trigger them to lose affect. Paris suspects that Azerbaijan is utilizing these tensions to encourage resistance towards ‘French rule’.


In accordance with specialists, there’s a political cause for this. Throughout conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia lately, France at all times stood up for Armenia. Final yr, Paris promised navy assist to Armenia “to defend itself,” the French International Minister mentioned on the time. “All these in energy in Azerbaijan need is to take revenge on Paris. They aren’t within the state of affairs in New Caledonia,” historian and Caucasus specialist Charles Urjewicz informed Le Figaro.


One of many means for that is the foyer group Baku Initiative Group. It was based in July final yr within the Azerbaijani capital Bakou. Formally, the group’s purpose is to struggle towards colonialism and neo-colonialism.

On the inaugural assembly, independence fighters from numerous components of France have been current, resembling New Caledonia, Martinique, Guyana and Polynesia. The GIB commonly organizes worldwide conferences to denounce French ‘colonialism’. This occurred final September, for instance, on the United Nations in New York.

Final week, the GIB issued a press release condemning “France’s violence towards civilians in New Caledonia.” “We stand in solidarity with our Kanak mates.” The GIB’s Instagram account is partly written in French and, amongst different issues, distributes the official statements of Caledonian independence fighters.

In February, investigative journalists from the French TV channel France 24 mapped out how Azerbaijan has been engaged in a smear marketing campaign towards France for a while.

Historic cut-and-paste work

In December, Baku expelled two French diplomats and arrested a Frenchman on suspicion of espionage. The month earlier than, a video criticizing the Olympic Video games in Paris was launched, distributed through social media and faux web sites. Its distributors had ties to Azerbaijan, French authorities concluded. And the month earlier than, the Azerbaijani parliament arrange a assist group for Corsica, the place there’s additionally a struggle for independence from France.

In accordance with specialists, the actions of the authorities in Baku are precisely like what the Soviet authorities did up to now and the Russian authorities are doing now. It’s nearly a political-historical cut-and-paste job, the impartial Azerbaijani political scientist Altay Goyushov informed France 24. “Azerbaijan was a Soviet state. President Aliyev’s father was a KGB man, similar to Putin. They’re imitating one another. The rhetoric towards the West, the strategies towards opponents, the ways on social media: all of it appears to be like precisely the identical.”

Coincidentally or not, slogans in Russian have additionally been seen on banners in New Caledonia this previous week: “President Putin, free us.”

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