11 Aug 2011

Mission to restore peace on New Caledonia's strife-torn Mare

2:03 pm on 11 August 2011

A religious delegation has arrived on New Caledonia's Mare island with the aim of helping to restore peace following the shooting deaths of four young people.

The killings arose out of a protracted dispute centred on Mare's airport - one of several being blockaded in a protest at air fare hikes.

A government spokesperson, Sylvian Raffard, says 30 others were wounded during the event, which he says was really over longstanding land issues.

Mr Raffard says before setting off for Mare, the six or seven representatives of various Christian denominations met with the government as well as with the French High Commissioner to New Caledonia.