Open letter to President Macron: End Kanak vote ‘unfreezing’ and complete decolonisation

French gendarmes in law and order operations in Kanaky New Caledonia
French gendarmes in law and order operations in Kanaky New Caledonia . . . a climate of "fear, resistance and despair". Image: NC 1ère TV/screenshot APR

Asia Pacific Report

The president and board of the Protestant Church of Kanaky New Caledonia has appealed in an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron to scrap the constitutional procedure to “unfreeze” the electorate, and to complete the “decolonisation project” initiated by the Nouméa Accords.

“If anyone can help us roll back the tombstone that is currently preventing any possible
resurrection, it is you, Mr President,” said the letter.

The church’s message said a “simple word” from the President would end the “fear, resistance and despair” that has gripped Kanaky New Caledonia since the protests against the French government’s proposed electoral law change on May 13 erupted into rioting and the erection of barricades.

Opposition is mounting against the militarisation of the Pacific territory since the strife and the church wants to see the peaceful path over the past three decades resume towards “Caledonian citizenship”.

The letter said:

Open letter to Mr Emmanuel Macron
President of the French Republic

The President and the Board of the Protestant Church of Kanaky-New Caledonia decided, this Wednesday 05/06/2024, to transmit to you the following Declaration:

God accepts every human being as they are, without any merit on their part. His Spirit
manifests itself in us, teaching us to listen to each other. The Church owes respect to the
political and customary authorities, and vice versa.

In the current context, which is particularly explosive for our country, the Church’s expression of faith and its fidelity to the Gospel challenge it to bear witness to and proclaim Christian hope.

God created us as free human beings, inviting us to live in trust with him. We often betray this trust because we are often confronted with a world marked by evil and misfortune.

But a breach was opened with Jesus, recognised as the Christ announced by the prophets
God’s reign is already at work among us. We believe that in Jesus, the crucified and risen
Christ, God has taken upon himself evil, our sin.

Freed by his goodness and compassion, God dwells in our frailty and thus breaks the power of death. He makes all things new!

Through his Son Jesus, we all become his children. He constantly lifts us up: from fear to
confidence, from resignation to resistance, from despair to hope.

The Spirit of Pentecost encourages us to bear witness to God’s love in word and deed. He calls us, together with other artisans of justice and peace, whether political or traditional, to listen to the distress and to fight the scourges of all kinds: existential concerns, social breakdowns, hatred of others, discrimination, persecution, violence, refusal to accept any limits .. .  God himself is the source of new things and possible gifts.

We testify that the truth that the Church lives by always surpasses it.

It is therefore with respect and humility, Mr President, that we ask you:

  • on the one hand, to officially record the end of the constitutional procedure for unfreezing the electorate and no longer to present it to the Versailles Congress; and
  • secondly, to pursue the decolonisation project initiated by the Nouméa
    Accords, which would lead to Caledonian citizenship.

If anyone can help us roll back the tombstone that is currently preventing any possible
resurrection, it is you, Mr President of the Republic.

Don’t be afraid to revisit this legislative process that you have set in motion and that is placing the children of God of Kanaky New Caledonia in fear, resistance and despair.

With a simple word from you, these children of God in Kanaky New Caledonia can regain
their confidence and hope.

To him who is love beyond anything we can express or imagine, let us express our respect and gratitude.

The letter was signed by the Protestant Church president, Pastor Var Kaemo.

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