France: Thousands protest independence in New Caledonia

Thousands of people marched through the New Caledonian capital of Noumea to protest against independence from France, six months before a referendum on the issue. According to police, 4,000 people marched. Organisers put the number at closer to 12,000. Protesters waved French flags and sang France’s national anthem as they paraded through the city. The march took place on the second day of... Еще French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the island. New Caledonia’s 270,000 residents are set to vote for an independence referendum on November 4, answering the question 'Do you want New Caledonia to accede to full sovereignty and become independent? Yes or no.' Despite the 19,500km (12,000 mile) distance, the nickel-rich country has been under French control since Napoleon III annexed the islands in 1853. The ties were further entrenched when New Caledonians, its native Kanak population, were granted French citizenship, and in 1946 the islands were absorbed as an overseas territory.

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