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TAFEA Nation (Vanuatu)

Tanna, Anatom, Futuna, Erromango and Aniwa islands secessionist movement

Last modified: 2006-06-09 by ian macdonald
Keywords: tafea | tanna | anatom | futuna | erromango | aniwa | independentist |
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A second Tannese attempt to secede from the New Hebrides came in 1980. On 1 January 1980 the Tafea Nation was proclaimed at Lamlu, in the centre of Tanna. The Kapiel Alliance, a pagan party based in Middle Bush in the centre of the island, was the moving force behind this effort. A unilateral declaration of independence was issued and a flag raised. Bonnemaison describes the flag as "a five-pointed yellow star on a green background with three yellow bars on the left." The name of the nation was made up of the initials of the five islands that made up the new country: Tanna, Anatom, Futuna, Erromango and Aniwa. Tafea was defeated when British forces attacked the secessionists on 26 May 1980. The Tafea flag was seized by the British.

Sources: Joël Bonnemaison, The Tree and the Canoe: History and Ethnogeography of Tanna, Honolulu, 1994; Jean Guiart, Le mouvement "Four Corner" à Tanna (1974), Journal de la Société des Océanistes, Vol. XXXI, 1975, pp. 107-111.

Jan Oskar Engene, 13 June 1998