World Country Vanuatu

About the world country Vanuatu, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: A cluster of islands in the Melanesian southwest Pacific, northeast of Australia. Size: 5,700 sq. km. (14,763 sq. km.). Population: 120,000.

Who Really Rules: Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides, gained independence on July 30, 1980. Ruled until that date by France and the United Kingdom as a "condominium"-a unique and historically divisive form of joint administration-the population is split into culturally dissimilar English-speaking and French-speaking communities. The large Anglophone community runs the elected government.

Prior to independence, Francophone groups on two islands rebelled, attempting to secede. On the large island of Espiritu Santo rebels were aided by French planters, who feared Anglophone support for Melanesian land rights, and by the U.S.-based Phoenix Foundation, a group with links to the American Libertarian party. French and British forces, brought in to keep peace and neutralize each other, did nothing, but after independence the Vanuatu government used troops from Papua New Guinea, with Australian advisers, to put down the revolt.

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