French Island in the South PacificThe French Island in the South Pacific
Macron to visit major French Pacific region before independency poll
Emmanuel Macron paid his first official trip to the French New Caledonia archive on Thursday, where tension is high in the run-up to a long-awaited independent referendum by ethnical separatists. Upon his return, Macron said he was pleased to be visiting the South Pacific Isles, known for their unspoilt shores and vast deposits of nickeli.
It is a key pillar for Paris in Asia-Pacific, with Macron saying this weekend in Sydney that the island was "a geo-political opportunity" while mentioning its commercial upside. However, despite decade-long attempts to raise the standard of livelihood of the tribal Kanaks, who make up around 40 per cent of New Caledonia's 270,000 inhabitants, there is still great disparity in the economy.
Macron's attendance also marks the thirty years of a violent assault and the hostage-taking of Kanak separatist against policemen in Wadrilla on Ouvea Island, where six officer and 19 fighters were dead. "It will be above all an opportunity.... to dedicate the important elements of our common story, elements that have sometimes been hurtful, like those we will remember," said Macron on his arrival.
However, while he is planning to make the token move to present the initial 1853 Charta to the Galedonian authorities, which claims the island as French sovereign territory, Macron said he will not take a stance on the November referendum for independency. "It is not up to us to affect this choice," he said this weekend in Sydney, which he attended before his departure to the island, and added that he hoped to prevent any "unnecessary tension".
" "l "l respectfully acclaim this agreement..... It is an example, and the whole wide globe is observing us," said Macron. However, during his election drive, Macron had said he wanted "the rock", as the area is called, to stay part of France. The recent strike on the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean underlined the boiling grudge about the state' s perception of abandon.
It was the 50th centenary of the so-called Noumea Agreement for New Caledonia, which ended years of conflict and promised a progressive rise in the level of self-government that culminated in the November 4 referendum on the country's independent status. However, he will take a narrow line during his trip, with some Kanak legislators pushing the presidential authorities to acknowledge island sovereignty as a crimes against the people.
However, many unions have reproached Macron for giving too much influence to the Kanak church during his stay and have called for a pro-republican "Red-White-Blue March" in the capitol Noumea on Friday. This area, which occupies a peculiar place among the French outskirts that allows it to define its own fiscal, labor and commercial policy, is highly dependent on the export of nickels, which are used to produce high-grade steels, rechargable cells and slugs.