The chief minister of these British- and French-ruled islands in the South Pacific has appealed to the United Nations for help in dealing with a rebellion on Espiritu Santo, government officials said Sunday. About 800 plantation workers armed with bows and arrows took over government facilities in Santo, the largest town on the island, on Wednesday. They want the island to be a separate entity when the New Hebrides becomes independent on July 30 as the new nation of Vanu'atu.
Three boatloads of foreigners have left the rebel island and one vessel, with 60 people, has reached the island of Malekula, according to reports reaching here.
The New Hebrides, about 1,000 miles northeast of Brisbane, Australia, has about 80,000 people, with 5,000 living on Espiritu Santo.