Vanuatu Government “completely unstable and corrupt”, according to leaked US diplomatic cablePosted: August 19, 2012
This particular Wikileaks Cablegate cable is of interest mostly for its humour value—”Volcanoes regularly go off and shark attacks are common”, it says about Vanuatu; one really has to wonder about quality control at the US State Department if this is the sort of stuff they are collecting as ‘intelligence’.
It’s an example of the sort of information-gathering from public sources that foreign diplomatic posts undertake routinely. In this case, this unclassified 2006 cable out of the US Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, collates descriptions of Pacific Island countries, leaders and the political and economic climate as reported in New Zealand newspapers. The section about Vanuatu is extracted below; for the full descriptions of other Pacific island nations, visit this link at Wikileaks.
Key quote from the cable:
A bewildering array of political wannabes—the deeply suspicious Barak Sope, francophone Se[r]ge Vohor and Maxime Carlot Korm[a]n—swap among themselves as president and prime minister. With high unemployment, a growing squatter population around Port Vila is seen as a long-term security threat. Occasional riots and disturbances break out in Vila. GOVERNMENT: Completely unstable and corrupt.
|06WELLINGTON479||2006-06-22 05:30||2011-08-30 01:44||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Wellington|
VZCZCXRO6863 RR RUEHNZ RUEHPB DE RUEHWL #0479/01 1730530 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 220530Z JUN 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2931 INFO RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND 0799 RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0480 RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0578 UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 WELLINGTON 000479 SIPDIS SIPDIS STATE FOR EAP/PD-AGRIMES, EAP/P-K BAILES, EAP/ANP-DRICCI, INR/R/MR E.O. 12985: N/A TAGS: OTRA KIRC OIIP KPAO KMDR OPRC NZ SUBJECT: "THERE GOES THE NEIGBORHOOD": NZ MEDIA SURVEY REGIONAL SECURITY (CORRECTED COPY) REF: WELLINGTON 451 ¶1. SUMMARY: The following is a digest of recent regional security reports in the New Zealand media. This cable gives a synopsis of media reporting on sixteen countries in the region, their outline of New Zealand contributions to each of those countries, and/or their assessment of each country's future prospects. The articles cited are: ¶A. "Island Propping: NZ bilateral aid in the Pacific and East Timor 2005/6" by Geoff Cumming in the 06/10/06 New Zealand Herald and ¶B. "There goes the neighborhood" by Michael Field in the 06/10/06 Dominion Post: END SUMMARY. ¶16. VANUATU: From Dominion Post: POPULATION: 209,000. SUMMARY: On top of tribal and island divisions, Vanuatu remains politically and socially divided between French and English speakers. A bewildering array of political wannabes—the deeply suspicious Barak Sope, francophone Sege Vohor and Maxime Carlot Kormon—swap among themselves as president and prime minister. With high unemployment, a growing squatter population around Port Vila is seen as a long-term security threat. Occasional riots and disturbances break out in Vila. GOVERNMENT: Completely unstable and corrupt. MILITARY AND POLICE: Paramilitary Vanuatu Police Force and its mobile wing are known to have caused more trouble for the government than criminals. SAFETY: Volcanoes regularly go off and shark attacks are common. Rising crime. INVESTMENT POTENTIAL: Not good, other than in enclave tourism. Some fishing and agriculture. NZ CRISIS INVOLEMENT: Watch for a replay of the Solomon Islands. RISK: Moderate. From New Zealand Herald: NZ BILATERAL AID TO: VANUATU: $7.3M. WELLINGTON 00000479 006 OF 006 Education funding includes curriculum, resources and training. Law and order, including NZ judge. Public service capacity building. Domestic violence program. Economic development planning. _____________ MCCORMICK
This is the latest in the Cablegate Vanuatu series. The Cablegate leak, a.k.a. the United States diplomatic cables leak, began in February 2010 when WikiLeaks—a non-profit organization that publishes submissions from anonymous whistleblowers—began releasing 251,287 classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department by 274 of its consulates, embassies, and diplomatic missions around the world. Dated between December 1966 and February 2010, the cables contain diplomatic analysis from world leaders, and the diplomats’ assessment of host countries and their officials. As a service to the Vanuatu public, we are publishing selected cables of interest about Vanuatu and its leaders.