14 Feb 2006

Vanuatu internal affairs says Papuan independence activist in country illegally

8:17 pm on 14 February 2006

The political advisor for Vanuatu's minister for internal affairs says a Papuan independence activist who the government tried to deport last week, is in the country illegally.

Andy Ayamiseba was flown out of the country last Thursday but

returned after Solomon Islands and Australia refused to accept him.

Joe Carlo, the advisor to the Minister of internal affairs, who signed Mr Ayamiseba's deportation order, says the Papuan entered the country illegally and has no resident's permit.

Joe Carlo says Mr Ayamiseba was originally deported in 1998 for interfering in local politics.

He lived in Australia before returning to Vanuatu on Australian papers.

"By being issued an ID card in Australia, got into Vanuatu somehow, he was given a diplomatic passport. But diplomatic passports are issued only to the Minister of State or to honorary consuls of the country. He was not one of those."

The political advisor to the minister of internal affairs, Joe Carlo.

The matter is now before the courts.