New Caledonia will vote for independence from France

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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (AP) – Voters in New Caledonia, a French archipelago in the South Pacific, will choose whether they want independence from France in a referendum that marks an important step in an effort to decolonize three decades. Sunday’s vote will determine the future of the archipelago east of Australia and its 270,000 inhabitants. They include the indigenous Kanaks, who once suffered from strict segregation policies, and the descendants of European colonizers. In a previous referendum two years ago, a majority of voters chose to keep links with France, which provides economic support to the territory. Sunday’s vote was long overdue but comes after this year’s global protests against racial injustice and colonial-era wrongs.

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