2 Dec 2015

Talks resume to end Wallis airport blockade

10:57 am on 2 December 2015
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Photo: AFP

Talks have been held in Wallis and Futuna between local chiefs and French officials in a bid to end a blockade of the airport of Wallis.

The public broadcaster says the meeting, which is to continue today, was the first since disgruntled villagers seized the airport at the beginning of last week to push for the hiring of two locals by the airport company.

The chiefs have ignored a week-old court order to lift the blockade and also resisted the French overseas minister, who described their action as illegal and urged for the action to be stopped immediately.

The minister, George Pau-Langevin, has meanwhile confirmed that her office has received a letter from the Wallisians who asked for mediation.

In her reply, she says a broad dialogue is needed for a lasting solution, adding that the principles at the heart of the territory's status are not being questioned.

The blockade, which has affected mainly links with New Caledonia, has stranded hundreds of people and is causing growing disruption.