French leader addresses Wallis and Futuna assembly

1:48 pm on 22 February 2016

The French president Francois Hollande has addressed the territorial assembly of Wallis and Futuna in what is only the second visit by a French president to the territory.

Mr Hollande, who arrived via a stop-over in Tahiti, is also briefly visiting the small island of Futuna, which had never seen a French head of state.

Keeping a promise to visit all overseas territories during his term, Mr Hollande will at the end of the day return to Tahiti for an official visit, expected to be dominated by demands for France to acknowledge its nuclear legacy.

Between 1966 and 1996, the French military tested 193 nuclear weapons in Moruroa and Fangataufa - two atolls excised from French Polynesia for the tests.

Although France adopted a law to compensate those who suffered poor health because of radiation exposure, most applications have been thrown out.

Mr Hollande will complete his trip with one-day stops in Peru, Argentina and Uruguay.

French President Francois Hollande said all military means on the ground would be used to locate the aircraft.

Francois Hollande, President of France Photo: AFP