30 Sep 2005

Vandalism in Wallis after royal spat settled

4:05 pm on 30 September 2005

Police in Wallis have opened an inquiry into the vandalising of premises and cars owned by executives of two French companies.

Television reports say the attacks by unidentified men were aimed at the international communications company FCR and the IEOM overseas reserve bank.

This comes just days after armed backers of the king dismantled roadblocks that crippled Wallis last weekend.

The uprising was in response to plans by rival clans to install a new king after their reformist agenda had been endorsed by France.

In the face of the armed blockades, the French government backed down and assured the 86-year old king that he was the island's only legitimate traditional ruler.

The announcement was made at the beginning of the week by a New Caledonia-based envoy, Louis Lefranc, who is being described as a mediator.

But he is yet to meet the clans that challenged the king's authority.

Mr Lefranc is quoted as saying he will leave Wallis until a lasting peace deal has been reached.