The first Polynesians repatriated from New Caledonia: “We are relieved”

The first Polynesians repatriated from New Caledonia: “We are relieved”
The first Polynesians repatriated from New Caledonia: “We are relieved”

Stuck in Nouméa for two weeks for some, 80 Polynesians will be able to find the fenua. The first repatriation flight takes off this Monday from New Caledonia, and arrives in Tahiti Sunday evening, local time. A second trip is planned for next week.

Who is in a group? I’m trying to group you on the same plane” dictates a soldier with a deep voice, at the gates of Magenta airport. The Polynesians summoned on Monday May 27 (Caledonia time) finally see the end of the tunnel. The events taking place in greater Nouméa have left their mark.

We are relieved to be able to return home. We had been waiting for a return flight to Fenua for two weeks and now it has come to fruition. But we are also sad because we can go home and we know that the situation here remains tense. We met people with big hearts who helped us a lot.

The ordeal is over for these first 80 Polynesians to be evacuated from New Caledonia. A French Army Casa takes them in groups of around twenty passengers to La Tontouta international airport. A secure air bridge to then allow them to board the A400M which will take them back to Faaa international airport. Landing in Tahiti is scheduled for Sunday evening at 10:55 p.m. local time.

These passengers board the plane with relief. “We barely had anything to eat, we had to sneak around to find a store, that’s the worst part. We couldn’t go out. People from the neighborhood blocked our little village” describes Vanaka, accustomed, every year, to visiting his daughter who lives on the Caillou. In 25 years, he has never experienced such a situation.

As places are limited in the A400M, several other Polynesians will have to wait for the second repatriation flight, announced by the State and Country services. Timi knew he wasn’t going to be able to get on that plane, but he went to the airport anyway. The vacation with his partner turned into a nightmare. “I tried to see if they could put us on the plane…we’re stuck here. We deal with it“, Timi resigns himself.

The High Commission of the Republic in Polynesia has identified a total of 160 fenua nationals stranded in New Caledonia, as reported on Saturday May 25 by Anna N’Guyen, head of the administrative subdivisions of the Windward Islands and the Sous-le Islands. -Wind.

As for the Caledonians stuck in Papeete, and who helplessly witness the events affecting their country, they are counting on these repatriation flights to bring them home. The Polynesian High Commission assured “work in this direction.

The state of emergency, declared on May 15, is lifted in New Caledonia but Tontouta international airport is still closed. Its reopening has been postponed again, this time to June 2.

-

-

NEXT A municipal candidate murdered in Mexico, more than twenty in total