6 Nov 2018

MSG seen as supporter of New Caledonia independence cause

11:29 am on 6 November 2018

Leading New Caledonian pro-independence politician Victor Tutugoro says governments of Melanesian countries have quietly supported the New Caledonian independence cause.

Melanesian Spearhead Group chairman Victor Tutugoro

Victor Tutugoro Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Mr Tutugoro said, however, this had been muted in part because of their bilateral links with France.

He said support for the Kanaks had been channelled through the Melanesian Spearhead Group

"The government of Fiji has been very discreet but generally speaking it's been the organisation. With governments it's a different story, they have to be more reserved towards France given their bilateral relation."

Victor Tutugoro said he was yet to speak to delegates of the the Pacific Islands Forum, who visited Noumea for the weekend's independence referendum.

The forum defied France in the 1980s by facilitating New Caledonia's re-inscription on the UN decolonisation list.

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