Media fuss over stranded tourists, but Kanaks face existential struggle

  • Eugene Doyle Independent writer, Whanganui-o-Tara
Keywords: assassination, colonialism, decolonisation, independence, France, Kanaky, New Caledonia, self-determination


Commentary: For two weeks in May 2024, protests by pro-independence indigenous Kanaks in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia erupted into a wave of rioting; erection of barricades; and burning of factories, shops and homes with the deaths of seven people – five Melanesians and two gendarmes. Since the late 1980s the Kanak independence movement had been consistently engaging with the 1988 Matignon then 1998 Nouméa Accords with Paris in an evolving process as part of their struggle for self-determination. The Nouméa Accord set out a framework for transferring power to the people of New Caledonia, through a series of three referenda. However, after France moved to unilaterally break with the Accords and declare independence as being off the table that the country returned to a state of unrest. This article recalls the influence of one of the leaders of the 1980s upheaval, Éloi Machoro.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The "Kanaky Palestine - Même Combat" photograph on page 164 attributed to Solidarity is actually a photo taken by PhD candidate Anaïs Duong-Pedica of her handmade sign for a Palestine solidarity march at Chambéry, France, in January 2024. It is a slogan used by the USTKE union in Kanaky New Caledonia.


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Author Biography

Eugene Doyle, Independent writer, Whanganui-o-Tara

Eugene Doyle is a writer based in Wellington. He has written extensively on the Middle East, as well as peace and security issues in the Asia Pacific region. He hosts the public platform


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How to Cite
Doyle, E. (2024). Media fuss over stranded tourists, but Kanaks face existential struggle. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 30(1and2), 160-165.