Pacific / New Caledonia

France asked to assist New Caledonia decolonisation

05:47 am on 11 November 2019

The FLNKS flag widely used in New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

A pro-independence party in New Caledonia says France needs to explain how it would accompany the territory should voters opt for independence next year.

Jean-Pierre Djaiwe of the Palika says Paris should clarify how it would assist in a transition period in case of a victory by the pro-independence camp.

Mr Djaiwe said New Caledonia could become an independent country but would be unable to immediately take charge of all functions because it wouldn't have all its institutions, such as public security and justice.

He said France could help.

Last month, the signatories to the Noumea Accord met in Paris and this month France announced that the next independence referendum would be on 6 September next year.

Mr Djaiwe said there wouldn't be another signatories' meeting before the plebiscite and therefore he is seeking bilateral talks with Paris.

In the referendum a year ago, just over 56 percent voted for the status quo, defying polls which predicted a larger majority against independence.

The Noumea Accord provides for a total of three referendums by 2022 to complete the decolonisation process.