Kiribati

Micronesian leaders united in decision to withdraw from Forum

Palau has already commenced with the process.  

A statement released today said the five Presidents of Micronesia will honour the Mekreos Communique and withdraw from the Forum as stated in a joint communique released also released today.

The leaders of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati and the Republic of the Marshall Islands met virtually yesterday (Monday).

According to the statement, Nauru President Lionel Aingimea “believes the Forum has lost its original intent to be a regional body and what the Forum was originally set up to do.”

NZ Orion finds two fishing boats missing off Tarawa

The two boats, which had been reported as missing separately, were found in quick succession.

There were four survivors but one person had died.

The search and rescue operation was coordinated by the Rescue Coordination Centre Fiji after initial search efforts by Kiribati authorities failed.

The Orion was initially searching for a five-metre wooden fishing vessel, which had gone missing between Tarawa and Maiana Islands and had last been seen on 30 October.

The crew were later asked to also look for a smaller aluminium boat, 72 nautical miles west of Tarawa.

NZ Pacific Language Weeks now include Kiribati

He said the government is strongly committed to growing and supporting the Pacific language weeks, and with $NZ20 million in funding his ministry has been able to include funding support to the Kiribati and Rotuman communities this year.

He said "one of the key tasks of the Pacific Language Unit is to work closely with Pacific communities of Aotearoa to ensure their languages are celebrated, taught and thrives through future generations to come."

Fourteen new MPs elected in Kiribati

The second of two rounds of voting took place this week.

Four women have also made Kiribati history by winning seats, the highest number of women in parliament so far.

Most of the ministers in the current caretaker government have kept their seats, including President Taneti Maamau, however it was too early to say whether he would be his party's nomination for President again.

His TKP party had the majority of seats, but cross-party alliances and new members meant there was no clear winner, with the May 22 parliamentary session expected to reveal more.

Kiribati goes to polls as normal despite Covid-19 threat

Earlybird voter Linda Uan said there was handshaking and smiles as voters left the booth in her area.

She was part of a small lineup of less than a dozen voters as the booth she joined opened at 7am this morning.

Ms Uan said despite health warnings all weekend, including recommendations of social distancing and good hygiene, there was nothing different from the last elections.

She said people seemed to be more excited about exercising their right to vote rather than feeling nervous or fearful of the threat of Covid-19.

Kiribati blocks Chinese travelers over coronavirus fears

Kiribati is the latest Pacific country to impose entry requirements to stop the spread off the virus.

All visitors are now required to fill out a health form and travelers from countries with the coronavirus must go through a self-quarantine period.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Wallis and Futuna have ordered 5000 face masks amid concern over the propagation of the coronavirus.

This is the territory's biggest order of its kind as people worry the respiratory illness could reach the archipelago.

Kiribati police find cocaine and marijuana packages

A report from KPS said that as illicit drugs are already in the country, people particularly youths, are probably using it.

KPS said the pure cocaine package, weighed 1.5kg while the other package containing marijuana weighed more than 3kg.

The drugs are being kept at the Kiribati Police Headquarters in Betio.

Police have called on the public to report information related to suspected drug use and possession.

Kiribati records first measles case

The bloodwork of an 11-month-old boy from Eita village in Tarawa, who tested positive for measles, was among 16 samples that were sent to Fiji for testing and were returned on Tuesday.

The Health Ministry said the boy has received treatment and is recovering.

The Kiribati Measles Task Force is working to confirm contact-tracing and co-ordinate measures to minimise the risk of the further spread of measles in the country.

     

Litany of failures led to Kiribati ferry tragedy - inquiry report

Those conclusions are detailed in a report by the Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the MV Butiraoi, which details a litany of failures that led to the country's worst maritime disaster.

The report was released by the office of the president, Taneti Maamau, on Monday. Until then, it had only been available in hard copy at the president's office or the national library, a move which had been criticised as secretive and undemocratic, with reports of time restrictions and a ban on copying, photographing or taking notes from the report.

Opposition organises anti-China protest march in Kiribati

The opposition in Kiribati has organised an anti-China protest march this morning in Tarawa.

Police closely monitored the procession through the streets, which saw protestors waving Taiwanese flags and chanting "We love Taiwan, we hate China, we want peace".

The leader of the opposition Titabu Tabane said the people were not consulted by the government and vowed to switch back to Taiwan if his party were voted into power in next year's election.