Political life is complicated by the fact that the indigenous Melanesian Kanak community is now a minority of some 44% following earlier population decline and immigration under French rule. The rest of the population is of French descent, known as caldoches, with a small East Asian minority.
Agitation by the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) for independence began in 1985. The FLNKS (led by the late Jean Marie Tjibaou, assassinated in 1989) advocated the creation of an independent state called 'Kanaky'. The unrest led to agreement on increased autonomy in the Matignon Accords of 1988 and the Noumea Accord of 1998. A referendum on independence is to be held by 2018.
From the CIA World Factbook 2000.
- Geography of New Caledonia
- Demographics of New Caledonia
- Government of New Caledonia
- Economy of New Caledonia
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