26 Aug 2002

Police in France arrest a Wallisian suspected of killing a Kanak in New Caledonia

11:42 am on 26 August 2002

Police in France have arrested a Wallisian man suspected of killing a Kanak in ethnic violence in New Caledonia in January.

The French news agency, AFP, says police in Noumea say the man, whose name is being withheld, was arrested in Montpelier in the south of France and will be transferred to New Caledonia shortly.

He is alleged to have fatally shot Jean-Marie Goyeta in the Noumea suburb of St Louis -- the scene of violence between indigenous Kanaks and Polynesians from Wallis and Futuna.

In the past year, the violence there has claimed two other lives, while three people, including a senior police officer, have suffered gunshot wounds.

The French High Commission has been trying to mediate to bring an end to the intermittent violence.