Vanuatu. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the annual Geopolitical Drugs Watch report found
in April that Vanuatu has become one of the world's most
important money laundering tax havens by the Russian mafia
and other crime syndicates. Drug traffickers from both the
Northern and Southern hemisphere invest their illegal
profits in traditional markets on a number of South Sea
islands, from gold and diamonds to cocoa and coffee. Vanuatu
has neither income tax nor corporation tax.
In September, the Vanuatu government presented a program
aimed at 100 percent renewable energy supply, primarily
through hydrogen and geothermal energy. All imports of oil,
gasoline and diesel will cease last 2010. Vanuatu is today
very oil dependent.
Volcano Manaro began spewing ash and smoke in December
2005, and the threat of volcanic eruptions led to thousands
of inhabitants being evacuated from the island of Aoba.
In May 2006, Parliament was convened extraordinarily to
consider a package of bills drafted by the Prime Minister.
They included: the administration of prisons, the
establishment of an agricultural bank, and changes in the
judiciary. In June, the government announced a new five-year
strategic development agreement with New Zealand's aid
agency NZAID. The agreement focuses on poverty reduction -
especially in rural areas.
Racial clashes on the outskirts of the capital cost 3
lives in March 2007, and hundreds more wounded and arrested.
According to the clashes. authorities the most violent in
the country's history and then started residents of the
outskirts of the city accused illegal landowners of using
black magic to kill sitting landowners.
In the late 0s, Vanuatu strengthened its relations with
Cuba. Cuba had sent doctors and nurses to the country since
the beginning of the decade, and there was also cooperation
on climate change.
In 2008, Vanuatu resumed diplomatic relations with
Western Sahara. Vanuatu had recognized Western Sahara as an
independent state as early as 1980 on the principle of the
people's right to self-determination, but in 2000 had
dropped the recognition in favor of diplomatic relations
with Morocco. It was this situation that was reversed in
2008. Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco, and therefore
diplomatic relations took place via Western Sahara's embassy
in Dili, East Timor.
After 3 electoral elections in September 2009, Iolu Abil
was elected president of an electoral college. He beat 6
In October 2009 and again in May 2010, Vanuatu was hit by
significant earthquakes, which did not, however, trigger
larger major tsunamis. The country is close to the fault
between the Australian plate and the Pacific plate.
Edward Natapei formed a government and became prime
minister in September 2008. He survived several distrustful
elections in parliament through 2009 and completed a major
government transformation in November 2009. Subsequently,
however, he was removed as prime minister and lost his seat
in parliament. Allegedly because he had failed to attend
three sessions in parliament without notifying the
President. The post of Prime Minister was then taken over by