New Caledonia

June 11, 2024

The Socialist Kanak National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of the South Pacific French territory of New Caledonia called for French President Emmanuel Macron to abandon the plan to modify the electoral reform.

About New Caledonia

  • New Caledonia is a French overseas territory located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,500 km east of Australia.

History of Island

  • New Caledonia, originally inhabited by the Kanaks, came under French control in 1853.
  • Post-WWII, Kanaks gained French citizenship, but 1960s French migration made them a minority, sparking an independence movement.
  • Tensions led to the Matignon Agreements (1988) and Nouméa Accord (1998), promising three independence referendums.
  • The 2018 and 2020 referendums favored France. Despite COVID-19 concerns, the 2021 referendum also favoured France, angering the Kanaks.

Significance of  New Caledonia for France

  • Strategic location: Situated in the South Pacific, New Caledonia provides France with a military and geopolitical presence in a region with growing global interest, particularly with increasing influence from China.
  • Economic resources: The island is rich in natural resources, notably nickel, which is vital for various industries, including manufacturing and technology.