12 Mar 2007

Vanuatu police look for further arrests over Vila clashes

3:11 pm on 12 March 2007

Vanuatu police say they are still looking to make further arrests over tribal clashes in Port Vila earlier this month which left three dead.

Police have made one hundred and sixty arrests after the fighting between people of Tanna and Ambrym islands at the Blacksands squatter settlement on the fringe of the capital.

Following the clashes, a two-week state of emergency in Port Vila remains in place until the end of this week.

The police spokesman Willie Ben Karlot says that after some reluctance immediately following the clashes, both communities have become co-operative with police investigations:

"Last Friday we received confirmation from some leaders of the community, and they came up and identified where the groups of people are living, and that will depend entirely on the investigating team to identify the number of the people who need to be arrested or whose statements are needed, so the police can approach the Chiefs and take the people in."

Police spokesman Willie Ben Karlot