19 Mar 2007

Vanuatu chiefs to discuss recent violence in capital area

3:23 pm on 19 March 2007

Vanuatu's Chiefs will this week discuss how to resolve the tribal conflict which led to deadly violence in Port Vila earlier this month.

Chiefs from around the country have gathered at the headquarters of the Malvatamuri - the national umbrella representing all Vanuatu's chiefs - for this week's General Meeting.

The Vila meeting was already scheduled before clashes at the start of the month left three people dead in a conflict between Tanna and Ambrym islanders.

Those fighting were among thousands of outer islanders living in the Blacksands squatter settlement on Efate near the capital.

Efate's Vatarisu Council of Chiefs has called for the National Council of Chiefs to encourage unemployed people and criminals in such settlements to return to their islands.

The National Council spokesmen, Selwyn Garu, says Vatarisu President Kalkot Murmur's call will be on the agenda.

"The agenda, which would involve discussion on the issue which Chief Murmur has raised and all the other issues involving conflict between the Tanna and Ambrym people will be discussed later this week."

Selwyn Garu