France’s ‘new world’ exploits against blacks: Part Five


IN 1984 CE, the blacks of New Caledonia revolted against the white settlers of their island.
In this period, one of Kanake’s most remembered sons, Jean Marie Tjibaou was active until his tragic death in 1989 CE.
Jean Marie Tjibaou was born in 1936 CE and had a strong Catholic background owing to his nation’s colonisation by the Catholic French.
He, like most blacks of his land, was groomed to be obedient to the whiteman’s religion.
Tjibaou was ordained a Catholic priest in 1965 CE.
He studied in France and other places in the early 70s and had a particular interest in uncovering the roots of his people and thus he chose to study anthropology.
He studied until he reached PhD level, although he did not manage to finish his degree because of his untimely death.
Through education of the history of his people, Tjibaou found a new awakening and calling that led him to denounce the ways of the whites and become a revolutionary.
When he returned to New Caledonia, he immediately requested to be released from his priesthood and married soon after as was customary in his own people’s culture.
Tjibaou became an active leader of the Kanake people and became increasingly involved in politics.
Tjibaou’s main concern was the return of the original Kanake (man).
He wrote and spoke about the cultural degradation of blacks as a result of following the ways of the Europeans.
He also reminded the Kanake people that their sacred land was not only theirs, but was a natural possession inherited from their ancestors and should be kept and passed on to their descendants.
Thus they had to safeguard their land from the Europeans and other invaders.
Tjibaou had uncovered the ancient stories and myths of his ancestors through study. Among this oral history of the ancestors of the Kanake people was the story of Tein Kanake.
Tein Kanake was the first man to ever live.
He was called the first begotten son of the ancestors.
According to Tjibaou, to be called Kanake (man) has to do with keeping the proper conduct of the ideal man of old, and not just being a human being.
Thus the philosophy of Kanake is similar to the Shona saying “munhu munhu nehunhu” (a human is considered human through humanness).
Tjibaou would become increasingly influential and excelled to become the President of the Kanaky Provisional Government.
In 1984 CE, popular uprisings of the Kanaky people against the whites of New Caledonia began.
During this period, two of his brothers were ambushed and killed along with eight other Kanaky people.
The Kanaky managed with great difficulty to arm themselves with guns, but these were inferior to those of the white settlers.
The weapons were mainly for self defence.
The approach of the blacks was to liberate territory on the island, set it under Kanaky authority and force the whites to negotiate with them.
Unfortunately the plight of the blacks was met with military resistance from the whites.
The uprisings went on for four years and France assisted the white settlers of the island with troops and weapons.
When Tjibaou and the other Kanaky leaders realised that their people were taking too many casualties yet they were hoping for a political solution to their problems, they decided to end the resistance.
The four years of war had led to the death of about 60 people and the deaths were beginning to increase alarmingly.
The Kanake people took almost all of these casualties.
On June 26 1988 CE, Tjibaou signed the Matignon Accords with the then Prime Minister of New Caledonia, M. Rocard.
Though this signing brought back peace into the land, some Kanaky militants saw it as an act of betrayal for they preferred to die than to remain subdued under white rule.
As a result, Tjibaou, along with his colleague called Yeiwene Yeiwene were shot to death on May 4 1989 CE.
Tjibaou is remembered for bringing the issue of the Kanake people to the attention of the international community.
Today, the whites of New Caledonia are called Caldoches and they are treated as first-class citizens.
There are also a number of South East Asians owing to the importation of labourers from the French colonies of Indochina.
The Polynesian and Melanesian community is mostly poor and still hoping for independence from the whites.
The topic of independence takes an unusual form in the case of New Caledonia. The Kanake people, who are the indigenous people of the island, are hoping for an independence whereby their land is returned to them and their colonisers withdrawing from their land.
On the other hand, the whites of New Caledonia perceive independence to be the breaking away of New Caledonia from France, and not the handing over of the island to the indigenous blacks.
This would be similar to how colonial Zimbabwe under Ian Smith unilaterally declared independence from Britain.
The current President of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands believes New Caledonia should always remain under French dominion.
President Philippe Gomes was quoted saying in French; “It makes no sense for a tiny group of Pacific islands to be granted independence.
“Rather New Caledonia should become a small nation under the large nation of France.”
Clearly the whites of New Caledonia, who are descendants of French criminals expelled from their homeland (France), do not understand that the island their ancestors settled in as a penal colony does not belong to them.
The whites of New Caledonia are invaders and colonisers in that land as are all other whites who left Europe to forcibly settle in the lands of the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Islands that surround these continents.
Today all the citizens of New Caledonia have French citizenship which was granted to them by the government of France.
This is to discourage the white, black and Asian New Caledonians from distancing themselves from France and seeking for independence from it.
There are also a number of Maghreb Arabs from countries like Algeria and other French former colonies of North Africa in New Caledonia.
The unfortunate thing about this mixed society is that it is the indigenous black people of the island that have it the worst.
Due to the past failed uprisings, many of the Kanake people are now pessimistic about the possibility of their outright independence from both France and the whites of New Caledonia.
The black New Caledonians are still trying to get themselves incorporated into the economic activities and ownership of the island.
However, to this day, the Kanake people have no notable share of ownership in the prosperous nickel industry of New Caledonia.
The rest of the Islands of the Pacific Ocean are in a similar situation with New Caledonia and are yet to be liberated from their European colonisers.


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