New Caledonia to vote on independence

New Caledonia could become independent from France in November if a referendum is successful.

The Pacific island of New Caledonia will hold a referendum on November 4 on whether to break away from France and become independent.

Talks on the future of the island, which lies 1,200 kilometres east of Australia and 20,000 kilometres from Paris, began in 1988 after a period of separatist conflict, including the "Ouvea cave massacre" in which 19 Kanaks and two French soldiers were killed.

A deal in 1998 provided for a referendum on independence to be held by the end of 2018.

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