6 Apr 2004

American Samoan governor pushes to establish army national guard

3:55 pm on 6 April 2004

The American Samoan governor is pushing to establish an Army National Guard in the territory.

Togiola Tulafono says logistical issues need to be worked out, including how to fund such a unit and whose orders it would respond to.

Togiola says he has support from Washington but American Samoa would be required to provide 50 percent of the funding on an ongoing basis.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says the governor has given two reasons behind his push to set up such a unit.

"It will provide employment for the local workforce. He said that these guards would be paid and will be employed. He's also trying to look at other ways of providing assistance in emergency cases to back up local law enforcement agencies in the territory."

The U.S. congress must approve the funding of an army national guard unit in the territory.