30 Jun 2003

Renewed violence between Kanak and Wallisian communties in New Caledonia

7:33 am on 30 June 2003

There has been more violence in the New Caledonian settlement of St Louis on the outskirts of Noumea over the weekend.

Shots were exchanged between the Kanak and Wallisian communities, but no one was hurt.

The shooting broke out after a group gathered on the main road to protest against the shooting of a Kanak man.

He was wounded as he helped to put out a fire at a traditional Melanesian hut.

The man was admitted to hospital but was not seriously injured.

A large contingent of heavily armed police in armoured vehicles was called in to ensure security in the village and along the main road.

Police moved a group of around 25 Wallisian women and children to a local gymnasium to ensure their safety.

The latest spate of violence comes several months after an agreement between the two communities was reached.

The agreement included the re-settlement of all the Wallisian families away from St Louis.

Around two thirds of the original 150 Wallisian families have already left.