Vanuatu Government “completely unstable and corrupt”, according to leaked US diplomatic cable

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.

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
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.


One Comment on “Vanuatu Government “completely unstable and corrupt”, according to leaked US diplomatic cable”

  1. Don Miller says:

    That’s almost as good as various ADB and EU environmental reports on Vanuatu I have read…

    Keep em guessing and feed them sitsit blo bullok

    Like