25 May 2006

New Caledonian party alarmed at resistance to Goro Nickel project

5:01 pm on 25 May 2006

New Caledonia's dominant Future Together Party says the environmental concern expressed by the Kanak Rheebu Nuu group masks a quest for political power.

The Party's leaders have held a news conference to highlight their alarm about the resistance of Rheebu Nuu and the indigenous Caugern group to the Goro Nickel project.

The leaders have appealed to the responsibility of all concerned to avert a stop to the two-billion US dollar nickel project which they say could trigger an economic earthquake.

The warnings come ten days ahead of a planned anti-Goro march that is being backed by the French Green and Communist parties.

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper says the Future Together has criticised the methods by Rheebu Nuu whose militants in early April caused 10 million US dollars in damage on Goro's construction site.

The Rheebu Nuu leader, Raphael Mapou, has lodged a complaint of corruption against the Future Together's Philippe Gomes, who is the president of the southern province and against the general manager of Goro Nickel, Ron Renton.