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Villagers reported occupying TV station; holding executives

(PINA/IFEX) - Reports from the small French Pacific Islands territory of
Wallis and Futuna say villagers have occupied its television station and are
holding the manager and two editors. The station is run by the Societe
Nationale de Radio Television Francaise D'Outre Mer (RFO), which operates
radio and television services in France's overseas territories. According to
a Radio Australia report broadcast on 6 May 1998, the villagers
were upset by the station's coverage of a traditional ceremony last week.
They are demanding that those responsible be fired.

RFO has sent a senior manager from Noumea in another French Pacific
territory, New Caledonia, to meet with the villagers at the station on the
island of Wallis. Wallis and Futuna is about 250 kilometres north-east of
Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu. Radio Australia, which has a
reporter in Noumea at the moment, reported from Noumea that about 50 people
from one village had taken over the station.

According to Radio Australia, the wife of one of the RFO employees has
threatened to hold local children hostage until her husband and his
colleagues are released.

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