New Caledonia: French Islands set for independence vote

New Caledonia, the French islands in the Pacific, are due to vote on sovereignty on Sunday 30 years after a period of unrest.

The territory, which has a population of 269,000, has seen deep divisions between its indigenous people, the Kanaks, and Europeans that live there.

An agreement drawn up in 1988, the Matignon Accord, proposed an end to direct rule from Paris and a vote on independence in 1998. This was later postponed to the 2018 vote.

Even if it’s a no vote, there is still the chance to call for two more referenda.

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