12 Feb 2008

Land dispute in Samoa leads to road block

2:13 pm on 12 February 2008

A main road leading to resorts in Siumu village in Samoa has been blocked off by some locals.

The land is the subject of a pending court case between the village and Government.

The blockade is being led by the village mayor, Tu'u'u Faimasasa Tofaeono.

He told the Samoa Observer newspaper that they have blocked off the road and have cleared everyone who was working on the land.

The mayor claims that this was a decision by the whole district, but the Secretary of the Siumu Land Committee has denied this.

Secretary Tuuu Tuigaiata Leota told the Samoa Broadcasting Corporation the Siumu district has not met to discuss anything to do with the land, contrary to the mayor's statement.

She said only Siumu East, a sub-village of the district, had met, to discuss work on native bush in the area.

According to Government, the land in dispute is freehold.

It is part of land on both sides of Cross Island Road, at Tiavi, which some locals at Siumu claim was wrongfully taken from them.