Vaturisu Council of Chiefs wants issue of squatter settlements resolved on Efate

An evicted man points out homes demolished by police during a forced resettlement near Tanoliu, north Efate last September. The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs is concerned about the use of police to evict squatters. Photo: Jean-Luc Thuha/Facebook

An evicted man points out homes demolished by police during a forced resettlement near Tanoliu, north Efate last September. The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs is concerned about the use of police to evict squatters. Photo: Jean-Luc Thuha/Facebook

Efate’s Vaturisu Council of Chiefs is united on squatter issues. At a general meeting late last week of the peak body of Efate kastom chiefs, the Vaturisu, members were concerned with the way in which the Police and VMF have had to be involved with squatters within the last month, sometimes just dumping them elsewhere. Removal of people in this matter is something which the Vaturisu will be taking up with Government. Expanding the town limits, providing more land for squatter settlements or sending squatters back to their home islands are all issues which need to be addressed. But the chiefs are concerned that living conditions must be improved as squatter settlements are seeing greatly increasing populations. A series of resolutions emerged from the meeting which will assist in resolving the squatter questions.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been under discussion at the 15th Session of the Assembly of State Parties to the Agreement, which is designed to protect member countries from the worst effects of international criminal activity. Vanuatu joined in 2012. Vanuatu’s Minister of Justice Ronald Warsal, the only Pacific minister to attend the meeting, was powerful in his demand the International Criminal Court extend its outreach to the Pacific States. Climate Change was his topic and the ecological, economic and cultural damage it inflicts. Minister Warsal sees that climate change is causing people to be displaced, languages and ancient heritages lost. Climate change has brought with it criminal activities which are causing the destruction of our environment, he says. (Daily Post)

The Vanuatu Family Health Association’s Reggae Faea event for 2016 is devoted to local music advocating family planning issues. The date to remember is 1 December and the place is Freswota Park. The aim is to provide a safe and friendly platform for young people to learn about their health through music. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/Reggae/Faea.