21 Feb 2007

Kanak group warns of action over New Caledonia nickel project

7:41 pm on 21 February 2007

A New Caledonian Kanak group has warned of tough action against the territory's multi-billion dollar Goro Nickel project.

Rheebu Nuu is opposed to the project, accusing the French state of being an accomplice in an environmental disaster unfolding in the south of the main island.

Last year, the group caused 10 million US dollars in damage by sabotaging equipment which forced the site to be closed for three weeks.

Our correspondent, Tuo Chinula, says the Rheebu Nuu leader, Raphael Mapou, has successfully lobbied in Paris for the group's cause.

"The announcement he made is that Rheebu Nuu is planning to take tough actions in particular over the period of the presidential elections which will be in April and May, in their fight against the environmental damage that is being done down south in New Caledonia at the Goro Nickel processing plant."

Tuo Chinula

The French Greens presidential candidate, Dominique Voynet, has described the Goro project as a caricature of a cynical violation of the law.