Size: 4700 sq m Popn: 157 000
This island group in the SW Pacific was first settled by Melanesians. The first European arrival was the Portuguese Pedro Fernandez de Queiras in 1606. They were jointly administered by Britain, who named them the New Hebrides, and France from 1906.
In the 1970s, the New Hebrides National Party, which was supported by British interests, and the Union of New Hebrides Communities, supported by France, were formed. Discussions about independence were held in London and in 1975 a representative assembly was elected. Independence was delayed as the National Party, now the Vanua'ku Party, objected. In 1978, a government of national unity was formed with Father Gerard Leymang as chief minister and the VP leader, Father Walter Lini, as his deputy. There was a revolt by French settlers and plantation workers on the island of Espiritu Santo in 1980 but this was put down by British, French and Papua New Guinean troops and the islands remain part of the Commonwealth. The nearby in Pacific terms!) islands of New Caledonia, Loyalty Island and Chesterfield Island remain under French control.
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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