NEW CALEDONIA: New Caledonia and the Kanaké. Part 2

By Heiko Bleher

In 1998, after about 30 years of serious conflict between the Kanaké independence movement FLNKS (Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste) and the white caldoches (the white emigrants) and the French authorities, the Kanaké finally achieved autonomy. Since then, jurisdiction has been gradually transferred from France to the island government, and the option has been granted of achieving total independence in 15 to 20 years’ time. The granting of autonomy ended a chapter in the colonial history of the South Pacific in a peaceful and undramatic manner. In the preamble to the agreement the French acknowledge the dark side of the colonial period and admit that the colonisation had damaged the dignity of the Kanaké people and caused them immense grief…

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