5 Aug 2005

France recognises both clans in Wallis king rivalry

3:24 pm on 5 August 2005

France's representative on Wallis and Futuna Islands, Xavier de Furst, has agreed to recognise both pro and anti-King chiefly clans.

This comes after he held the first meeting between the two sides in a confrontation that has lasted several months.

Earlier, Mr de Furst had given administrative recognition only to the chiefs who have been seeking the overthrow of the king.

Mr de Furst had said the state needed to keep working and decided to recognise the chiefs who had declared their loyalty to France.

The 86-year-old king, known as the Lavelua, as well as some of his supporters had 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.