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New Caledonia rejects independence from France

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  • Categories
    World Affairs
  • Published
    10th Oct, 2020
  • The Voters in the South Pacific territory of New Caledonia narrowly rejected independence in a referendum held recently.
  • The referendum was part of the Noumea Accord, a decolonization plan set in motion in 1998.
  • It was aimed to end a deadly conflict between descendants of European settlers and the mostly pro-independence indigenous Kanak population, who continue to face widespread discrimination.
  • The first referendum was held in 2018, second in 2020 and the third vote can be held in two years’ time, in 2022, if the move is requested by at least a third of the local legislature.
  • New Caledonia lies in the South Pacific Ocean between Australia and Fiji.
  • It became a French colony in 1853 under Napoleon’s nephew, Emperor Napoleon III.
  • It was used as a prison for decades, before becoming an overseas territory after World War II.
  • French citizenship was granted to all Kanaks in 1957.

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