16 Mar 2012

Vanuatu publisher says Fiji security carried illegal guns

9:32 am on 16 March 2012

A Vanuatu newspaper publisher says illegal guns were carried to provide security for the visiting Fiji interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Commodore Bainimarama was in Port Vila for a Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting.

The Daily Post's Marc Neil-Jones says patrons at a restaurant which suffered a power cut were scared by half a dozen security guards, who were all packing guns, which he says are illegal in Vanuatu.

"Numerous security guards everywhere he goes, who are carrying guns which aren't allowed in Vanuatu. It's just ludicrous. I've even heard stories at the hotel he was staying, a ni-Vanuatu from a nearby village in a canoe chased away by security for coming too close to where his bungalow was."

Marc Neil Jones says while in Vanuatu Commodore Bainimarama was installed as traditional Vanuatu chief.

Last week, his interim regime abolished Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs claiming it was a colonial anachronism that had become politicised.