24 Oct 2007

Fiji-based Vanuatu blackbird descendants request remarrying back into Vanuatu

5:09 pm on 24 October 2007

Descendants of ni-Vanuatu kidnapped during the Blackbirding era and taken to Fiji have requested an arrangement for their daughters to be re-married back into Vanuatu.

Vanuatu's Daily post newspaper reports that there been have talks in place over the possibility of repatriating some of the descendants back to Vanuatu.

The request was relayed to Vanuatu's foreign minister, George Wells, when he stopped in Fiji, on his way back from the UN General Assembly.

Mr Wells acknowledged that re-marrying would be one of the best ways for the descendants to reconnect with their ancestral roots.

However, he indicated that this needed to be taken up on a bilateral level with Fiji's government.

A representative of the Vanuatu Descendants Association of Fiji is currently in Vanuatu for discussions.

Vanuatu and Fiji began the process of reconciliation over the blackbirding grievances during the Melanesian Arts Festival last year.