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New Caledonia: soon to be independent? This you must know

The inhabitants of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the Pacific Ocean, to vote on 4 november in a referendum on their independence. It would be the 196ste country in the world can be. Time to pause for a moment to set.

‘The time has come for New Caledonia, the colonial power of France is going to throw, ” said Daniel Goa, head of the political party Union Calédonienne (UC), during a visit in Australia.

The island, which is 1,200 km east of Australia, has been since 1853 to France. Especially the indigenous Kanak population want more independence from France. The colonization of the area caused for centuries and numerous bloody revolutions. In 1988 there were 21 deaths including 19 Kanaks and two French soldiers, as a result of nationalist tensions.

The referendum on november 4, is a result of an agreement, in 1998, was closed. “It is of capital importance and a historic event for the Kanak people as it brings an end to 164 years of conflict,” said Goa during a speech in Sydney. “For us, people brought the French colonization, only darkness and decay. The freedom of our people is priceless.’

The proponents of the independence mainly consist of indigenous Kanakken, while the opponents largely of European origin. According to polls, it would be the last in the majority. In New Caledonia, French is the official language and is home to about 270,000 people, of which 39 percent Kanakken and 27 percent of European origin. A part of the native population would, however, still undecided.

The government in Paris, is neutral compared to the spin-off of its overseas territory. The French president Emmanuel Macron during a visit to New Caledonia in may, said that he is not a party elects, and that he closely wants to work with the land – what the outcome would be.

White beaches and coral reefs

New Caledonia gets its name from the British navigator James Cook that the island, discovered in 1774. He mentioned it to a region in Scotland, the islands resembled. The sea area attracts with its white beaches and coral reefs, each year approximately 100,000 tourists.

The famous French footballer, Christian Karembeu, was born in New Caledonia. Because he was born in a French territory, he could come out for the French national football team, which he, in 1998, the football world cup won.

The former French penal colony is surrounded by lagoons and consists of a mountainous main island, Grande Terre, and the three smaller islands of Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa. Between 1864 and 1897, and sent to France to 21,000 prisoners to the island.

The island, which is on a two hour flight from Brisbane, owns about a fourth of all nikkelvoorraden in the world. In addition, New Caledonia the second-longest coral reef: it is 1,600 km long and is on the Unesco world heritage list. In addition to whales and turtles you’ll find no less than 1,000 different species of fish. Above sea level, are pristine beaches, mountains, forests, and cliffs.

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