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The Pacific Council of Churches (PCC) says New Caledonia's referendum on independence from France is pointless because the minority Kanaks have already lost their chance of sovereignty.
The Council's general secretary, Francois Pihaatae, said the referendum outcome is obvious to Kanak leaders and he hopes they will look after the young as he fears a violent backlash after the vote.
The Reverend Pihaatae accuses France of destroying community life and he claims it has also influenced New Caledonian churches' stance on independence by giving them money.
He said since the 1940s the French strategy has been to hold on to its colonies.
“Give back the sovereignty and independence of all those colonies, including Maohi Nui, including others. Just follow the process of the UN. Give back the sovereignty. We don't need to vote for it, and we deserve, the Kanak deserve their sovereignty, deserve their independence.”
Opinion polls suggest a majority will vote to stay with France.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS
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