25 Apr 2018

New Caledonia meeting sought to ensure Macron visit smooth

8:09 am on 25 April 2018

The pro-independence Caledonian Union has called for a broad meeting to ensure next week's visit to Ouvea by the French President Emmanuel Macron will be smooth.

French president Emmanuel Macron


Mr Macron is due to visit the tomb of the 19 Kanaks shot dead by French security forces ending the 1988 Ouvea hostage crisis.

In view of objections by some Ouvea locals, the Caledonian Union has invited the French state, the provincial government and customary leaders for discussions to ensure the visit will go ahead peacefully.

This comes as talks are reportedly being held between the authorities in Paris and Noumea to defuse the situation after one group in Ouvea labelled the planned visit a provocation.

The head of the Caledonian Union also said everything needed to be done in order not to revive tensions ahead of the November independence referendum.

The Ouvea crisis prompted talks which concluded with the Matignon Accords that framed the relationship between the rival sides and the French state for a decade.

The follow-up Noumea Accord of 1998 then solidified the process but will expire with the independence referendum in November.