This Sunday, New Caledonians will go to the polls for a referendum

This Sunday, New Caledonians will go to the polls for a referendum on self-determination, voting Yes or No to the question “Do you want New Caledonia to accede to full sovereignty and become independent?”

However the result is forgone, as the independence movement Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) and other independence forces have called on supporters to refuse to vote. With tens of thousands of independence voters – especially indigenous Kanak – refusing to turn out on Sunday, the No vote will have little credibility. French President Emmanuel Macron faces elections in April 2022 and his government’s refusal to delay the vote until after the elections highlights France’s geopolitical interest to maintain colonial control in this Pacific dependency.

Developments in New Caledonia are rarely reported in the mainstream media, so here’s some key articles in English that provide history and context to the vote – and what comes next:

Nic Maclellan: Analysis – Boycott undermines credibility of New Caledonia referendum, Islands Business, 8 December 2021…/new-caledonia-referendum-4/

Benoȋt Trépied, Rowena Morrison and Adrian Muckle: Emmanuel Macron’s dangerous shift on the New Caledonia referendum risks a return to violence, The Guardian, 2 December 2021…/emmanuel-macrons…

Nic Maclellan: AUKUS debate “influenced France’s attitude towards New Caledonia”, The Interpreter, 8 December 2021…/aukus-debate-influenced…

Denise Fisher: Why New Caledonia’s final independence vote could lead to instability and tarnish France’s image in the region, The Conversation, 6 December 2021…

Nic Maclellan: Crash through or crash? Inside Story, 8 December 2021

Nic Maclellan: “Akin to a declaration of war” – France deploys police and military to New Caledonia, Islands Business magazine, November 2021 (subscription)…/

Nic Maclellan: Pacific leaders join call for delay in New Caledonia referendum, Islands Business online, 23 November 2021…/new-caledonia-referendum-3/

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