Emblematic place of New Caledonia, the “large hut” of the customary Senate was set on fire

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Published on : 09/08/2020 – 13:57

In New Caledonia, the fire in the “large hut” of the Customary Senate, a consultative institution highly respected by the inhabitants, caused great emotion in the archipelago. A suspect has been arrested.

The customary Senate is an institution in New Caledonia. An emblematic place of Kanak culture. Its fire, which took place on Saturday August 8, is therefore a symbolic attack which aroused great emotion on the archipelago, still in full swing. decolonization process.

A young man of Melanesian origin admitted the facts and explained “ to have acted alone on a whim “. He claims to be at the head of an association of squatters and criticizes the Kanak customary authorities for the lack of support for claims concerning the supply of electricity and the collection of waste. He will appear Tuesday, August 11, before the criminal court and faces a 10-year prison sentence, the prosecution said.

As the referendum approaches, the political climate is tense

It could only be a simple news item, an isolated act, but this fire occurs at a special time for New Caledonia. In two months there will be a second referendum on the self-determination of the territory.

Independentists and loyalists in favor of a French New Caledonia are therefore increasing the pressure. Two weeks ago tricolor banners were burned on the facade of an administrative building as well as in front of the swimming pool in Nouméa, the capital.

The first referendum, two years ago, saw the victory of the pro-French with 56.7% of the vote. A score below expectations and which gave the independence camp a hope of winning.

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