2 Jul 2003

Wallisian immigrants to Noumea demand huge compensation for move

4:56 pm on 2 July 2003

In New Caledonia immigrant families from Wallis and Futuna are demanding over 80-million US dollars compensation to be moved from the strife torn Noumea suburb of St Louis.

The Southern Province and the French High Commission authorities have proposed resettling the immigrant families after a prolonged conflict with the indigenous Kanaks in St Louis.

The government wants to resettle them at Dumbea, on the edge of Noumea.

But the Dumbea mayor, Bernard Marrant, is unwilling to have all the families resettled there.

He also says Dumbea hasn't been consulted about the proposed relocation.

Mr Marrant says the resettlement should be shared among all the town councils in and around Noumea.

The Government has promised the Wallis and Futuna families that housing will be available in Dumbea within two months.

Meanwhile around 50 Wallisian women and children have been living in a gymnasium in Mt Dore after being evacuated from St Louis following renewed violence at the weekend.