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Country profile - New Caledonia
A French overseas territory in the Pacific, New Caledonia has seen deep divisions between its indigenous and European populations, notably over the thorny question of independence.
But as the European population burgeoned, tensions - often over the loss of land - rose between the incomers and the indigenous Melanesians, known as Kanaks. A Kanak revolt in 1878 claimed more than 1,000 lives and heralded further repression by the French rulers.
Source: BBCAdditional information Full name: New Caledonia Population: 230,000 (via UN, 2006) Capital: Noumea Area: 18,575 sq km Major languages: French (official), Melanesian and Polynesian dialects Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs Monetary unit: Pacific franc Main exports: Nickel, prawns
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