1 May 2009

New Caledonia marks 20th anniversary of death of pro-independence leader

11:12 am on 1 May 2009

Four days of commemoration begin in New Caledonia today to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the pro-independence leader, Jean-Marie Tjibaou.

He was killed in Ouvea by a Kanak militant opposed to the Matignon Accords which a year earlier had brought calm to the territory after violent unrest.

3,000 people are expected in his village in the territory's north for a series of events, including traditional ceremonies, music, film shows and debates.

Mr Tjibaou signed the Matignon Accords with the anti-independence leader, Jacques Lafleur, under the auspices of the French prime minister, Michel Rocard.