11 May 2006

Vanuatu nagriamel movement not likely to support reconciliation exercise

8:13 pm on 11 May 2006

Vanuatu's nagriamel movement president, Chief Franky Steven says his people won't take part in the national reconciliation process, due to begin in Santo this week.

President Kalkot Mataskelekele said the objective of reconciliation ceremonies would be for the Government to pay compensation to the victims and families of the victims of the rebellion in 1980 and reunite the people to go forward.

In a ceremony at the Nagriamel stronghold today, the prime minister was to pay compensation for the death of one of the sons of the late nagriamel leader, Jimmy Moli Steven.

Jimmy Steven himself was jailed for thirteen years for attempted secession in 1980 when his nagriamel movement tried to break away from the rest of Vanuatu.

President Mataskelekele and the Prime Minister have travelled to Santo to arrange a peace ceremony for the family of Mr Steven whose brother was killed by PNG soldiers called in to quash the rebellion.

The state office has called on the chief not to hinder the reconciliation process saying the Steven family had already accepted the initial offer of reconciliation last year.