MAC: Mines and Communities

Kanak Leaders Outlawed

Published by MAC on 2006-04-12

Kanak Leaders Outlawed

by Jacques Boengkih

Tuesday April 4, a few minutes after 9:00pm. Raphaël Mapou’s home, Koutio suburb, Dumbea, outskirts of Noumea, New Caledonia’s capital city.

Through the open entry door, Lisa, Raphaël’s eldest daughter, sees a group of police forcing the gate to enter her home. Within few seconds about 20 anti-riot police officers are everywhere in the house occupied by Lisa and her three children age 5, 4 and 1, and her 13 year old sister.

Once all troops are in the house, their commanding officer enters. Lisa asks him if they have the right to enter by force into someone’s private home at night and to show her any legal document such as a search warrant.

The commanding officer answers that he is acting on special request by the prosecutor to find and arrest Raphaël Mapou. He has no obligation to show any legal document authorising their action and if Lisa is not happy, she can always take her case to the court, but she must understand that her case will go nowhere.

Lisa’s sister, afraid of these men in anti-riot wear and armed with guns, tries to telephone her mother, still at the Noumea court to help two young Kanaks arrested during the week-end blockade of Goro-Nickel.

Two police officers shout at her saying that she must not call anyone. Traumatised, the child cries her soul out. Everyone knows how sensitive she is and that she usually spends most of her time with both her parents.

The police search the entire house and after not finding the person they were looking for they go away, ordering Lisa to be at the police station by the following morning for questioning.

A lawyer questioned about the legality of the police operation explained that a special procedure has been used: special powers are given by the prosecutor to police forces to search for and to arrest dangerous criminals that represent a threat to the security of a person or of a population. That would be the procedure in the case of a search for terrorists.

No court in New Caledonia has ever declared Raphaël Mapou a criminal.

But this confirms a warning coming from the prosecutor’s entourage saying that Goro-Nickel management and the Southern Province authorities are working on obtaining an order from the judicial authorities to outlaw the two Rhéébù Nùù leaders, André Vama and Raphaël Mapou, and to dissolve the Rhéébù Nùù committee.

The customary Senate has called upon the French High commissioner to organise a round table with all parties concerned by the Goro conflict, including the two outlawed leaders with the guarantee from the French authorities that the two men will be left free to go after the round table that should end only when an agreement have been signed by all parties.

We still wait to know at what time tomorrow the round table will take place.

Meanwhile Kanak traditional leaders and people from the mining villages are converging on the Madeleine bridge where the Rhéébù Nùù committee still holds a camp to control the traffic to Yaté and Goro -- the same camp that the French troops did not succeed in demolishing when they attacked the occupants on the weekend.

Home | About Us | Companies | Countries | Minerals | Contact Us
© Mines and Communities 2013. Web site by Zippy Info