23 Oct 2007

Land occupation west of Samoa's capital now in police hands

11:38 am on 23 October 2007

A week-long land occupation west of the Samoan capital, Apia, is now in the hands of police.

A group of villagers is demanding the return of a block of land in Satapuala near Faleolo International Airport which is under the control of the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation.

They have reportedly put up four huts or faleo'o, and slashed and burnt undergrowth.

Our correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the Corporation last week gave them five days to leave, and that deadline has passed.

"I've been told that the village has been given a letter from the police to remove all their property from the land, and they've been given five days to do that, and the police will execute their power to remove everything by force."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the land claim dates back to the German occupation of Samoa but has yet to go to court.