Nauru President: ‘Unjust’ Foreign Criticism Has Unified Country

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Nauru President: ‘Unjust’ Foreign Criticism Has Unified Country Reform agenda needed to address corruption: Waqa

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 1, 2015) – The Nauru president says foreign criticism has unified the Nauruan people.

Baron Waqa says people overseas have been vocal in their opposition to his government's reform agenda, but he says it faced high levels of corruption.

He says in the past two years the country has surged ahead economically, it is more united than ever and the justice system is one of the most accountable in the Pacific.

This comes after it removed the chief justice, the police chief and the resident magistrate.

Since September in 2012 Nauru has hosted hundreds of Australia's asylum seekers, for whom Canberra pays hefty short term visas.

Mr Waqa says recent protests by refugees, false allegations of police brutality and refugees being attacked by locals, are politically driven and have backfired.

He says Nauru locals have welcomed the refugees and treat them well.

And Mr Waqa says much of the criticism is racially motivated.

He says people criticise the hospital and services but they appear to have no issue with Nauruans using the same facilities.

Mr Waqa asks if Nauruan people are less important.

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