18 Nov 2022

Pro-independence camp insistent on 2025 date for sovereignty

12:48 pm on 18 November 2022
Pierre Chanel Tutugoro at party rally.

Photo: Facebook

The pro-independence camp in New Caledonia has reiterated that the territory's full sovereignty must be achieved by 2025.

The statement was made after the weekend congresses of both the Caledonian Union and the Palika party.

The two parties belong to the FLNKS movement which is the pro-independence signatory to the 1998 Noumea Accord that expired with last December's referendum.

Palika's Jean-Pierre Djaiwe says a new referendum should be organised on New Caledonia becoming independent in a partnership with France.

A Caledonian Union member, Pierre-Chanel Tutugoro, told broadcaster, La Premiere, independence must be attained.

"The FLNKS will mandate representatives of the Kanak people, the colonised people, to form bilateral discussion around a colonial consensus and the accession to full sovereignty. A meeting with the state before our congress will allow us in no way to assimilate proper bilateral talks."

He said in case of independence sought by his party, laws defining citizenship of the future nation would have to be voted in the New Caledonian congress.

A leading member of the Caledonian Union, Gilbert Tyuienon, signalled that the upcoming talks with the French ministers in New Caledonia would have to be a bilateral exchange with the French state, adding that this wouldn't be a 'chat between coffee buddies' but a discussion between the coloniser and the colonised.

He reiterated that while the Caledonian Union would never recognise the outcome of last December's referendum, the party was committed to the step-by-step construction of a new country as envisaged in the Noumea Accord.

Tyuienon said his party didn't trust the French state at all as it insisted on organising the last referendum against the will of the pro-independence camp.

In two weeks, the French interior and the overseas ministers, Gerald Darmanin and Jean-Francois Carenco, are due in Noumea after all pro-independence parties stayed away from the Paris meeting on New Caledonia chaired by the French prime minister Elisabeth Borne last month.

She said working groups would be set up to cover institutional questions as well as economic and social issues affecting New Caledonia.

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