30 Jan 2007

Tension on Futuna after suspicious fire

4:08 pm on 30 January 2007

Tension is high on the French Pacific island of Futuna after the traditional meeting house, the Fale Fono, was burnt down in what is feared to have been arson.

Local television says the incident occurred last week in the village of Nuku in the kingdom of Sigave.

Traditional chiefs are reported to have refused to comment on the matter.

The renewed tension follows a visit last week of a delegation of chiefs from neighbouring Wallis Island to try and ongoing differences between the two islands.

The delegation mainly consisted of representatives from the King of Wallis, the Lavelua.

Futuna islanders and chiefs have on several occasions blamed Wallisians for

causing trouble between the two islands.