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Vanuatu (in Bislama /ˌvanuaˈtu/; in English /ˌvɑːnuːˈɑːtuː/  ( listen) vah-noo-AH-too or /ˌvænˈwɑːtuː/ van-WAH-too), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu, Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.

Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. Europeans discovered the islands in 1605 with the arrival of a Spanish expedition led by Queirós in Espiritu Santo. In the 1880s France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the country, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British-French Condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was created in 1980.


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