27 Mar 2007

Vanuatu's chiefs says communities not yet ready to reconcile after clashes

6:44 pm on 27 March 2007

Vanuatu's National Council of Chiefs says the time is not yet right for reconciliation talks between the two conflicting communites involved in this month's deadly clashes in Port Vila.

Chiefs from around the country gathered at the headquarters of the Malvatumari - the national umbrella representing all Vanuatu's chiefs - for last week's general meeting.

The Vila meeting focussed on addressing the conflict that led to the clashes between people of Ambrym and Tanna islands on March 3rd which left 3 people dead.

However the National Council spokesmen, Selwyn Garu, says representatives from Tanna and Ambrym communities were reluctant to set deadlines on reconciliation.

"They mandated the Malvatumari office to take up the responsibility to talk with the chiefs from the two island communities and that at the time that we see best time, then we will facilitate the process. But at this point in time we don;t think that it is wise to start now, we feel that we have to leave it for a few weeks and even months for the whole thing to really cool down."

Selwyn Garu