18 Apr 2006

FLNKS joins efforts to try and resolve stalemate over Goro project in New Caledonia

8:44 pm on 18 April 2006

New Caledonia's Kanak political umbrella group, the FLNKS, is mediating with Rheebu Nuu activists in an attempt to defuse an industrial protest which is paralysing the territory.

Rheebu Nuu activists caused millions of US dollars in damages in attacks on vehicles and installations on the huge Goro Nickel site more than two weeks ago.

Rheebu Nuu activists want an environmentally safe project and a fund for royalty payments to be set up.

Attempts to have talks between the company, the government and the protestors have failed, but the FLNKS is now acting as a mediator between the stakeholders.

The FLNKS spokesperson, Charles Wea, says no solution has been found yet.

"They are still working on because the two main claims will be given to the Southern province. And the Southern province, which is Philippe Gomes as a president, will give its position about the two main claims."

The FLNKS's spokesperson says it does not support the call for a fund for royalty payments.

Meanwhile, the USTKE union has announced it is backing the Rheebu Nuu action.