The Vanuatu Minister for Foreign affairs, Bruno Lengkon has assured former Vanuatu Consul Raymon Manuake, he will be repatriated on time before his visa expires amidst mounting public backlash that the Foreign Office has mishandled Manuake’s repatriation.
Lengkon responded that the Department Of Foreign Affairs (DFA) who are in charge of the repatriation process do know about the the issue and have already processed certain payments to assist Mr. Manuake and his family.
Amidst a war of words, Manuake responded that “the Minister was not well briefed on the urgency of the issue at hand and that the Minister has taken the issue in the wrong directions”
YTS News has witnessed Minister Lengkon disclosing personal details about Manuake and his wife to the public. The statements made by the Minister detailed severance pay was not taken lightly by Manuake.
“Minister Lengkon is talking about personal money owed me which is not the issue here, the issue here is the repatriation process has been delayed, and has been affecting my family personally and causing distress” stressed Manuake.
Manuake say’s “I am glad Minister Lengkon is reassuring the public that he is doing all he can to ensure MoFA resolves the matter but the fact remains, my visa expires in two days and I am here running around trying to fix all the arrangements which is the DFA responsibility”
With only 48 hours to go, YTS News has received confirmation from new Caledonia that they have not received payments for the container from the Vanuatu Government as promised to Manuake.
Minister Lengkon has on social media told the public and we quote ” DFA is continuing to contact Mr. Manuake to ensure all his personal effects including bills are being taken care of as is the repatriation process”
As the public backlash continued Manuake was still waiting at 4pm on the 16th of August for a call from the DFA that never came and the email that never arrived as per the Ministers advice.
The shipping agency also confirmed they have not received any transactions from Vanuatu and as Monday and Tuesday were a public holiday in New Caledonia this is now another setback.
Manuake points out that “the most ideal and simplest thing to do is to scan and send me details of banks transfer so I can provide that to the shipping agents just to ensure they release the container”
Lengkon however took a jab at did Manuake after so much backlash saying “Manuake will receive red carpet treatment on arrival, and the MoFA will pay for a first class ticket and the whole works” however it is common knowledge in Vanuatu that the Government never receives heads of missions in VIP and even the first class ticket is a humorous joke which the Minister should apologies for since his former staff is in distress.
Manuake has confirmed purchasing his family tickets since the MoFA was too slow and despite this being a responsibility for the MoFA, he cannot wait any longer since he does not want to break any laws in New Caledonia.
“Everything is not that simple here in New Caledonia, this is French Territory” concludes Manuake.
A lot of commentaries say MoFA should put themselves in Raymond Manuake shoes and maybe will feel what the family is going through right now.
The issue has also captured the attention of the Vanuatu Government and trusted sources have confirmed that senior Ministers in the current Government have indicated they will ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to explain the delay in the Manuake expatriation in a Council Of Ministers – COM.
Trusted sources have confirmed that partners in the current Coalition Government are not too happy over the issue as this is the second time the MoFA has faulted and caused distress to heads of our foreign missions.
The expatriation process has now come under the spotlight for the second time in just under a year with such cases, the first involving Vanuatu Ambassador to Brussels Roy Mickey Joy.