2 Aug 2005

France officially recognises Wallis king's rivals

2:21 pm on 2 August 2005

The French representative in Wallis and Futuna, Xavier de Furst, has given administrative recognition to the chiefs who have been seeking the overthrow of the king of Walllis.

The French territory has seen a rift between rival clans that in June led to violent clashes.

Mr de Furst says the state needs to keep working and has decided to recognise the chiefs who have declared their loyalty to France.

The 86-year-old king, known as the Lavelua, as well as some of his supporters have been calling for the french to quit the territory.

This follows legal action against one of the king's grandsons who was convicted of manslaughter after a fatal car accident.