29 Nov 2010

Land dispute in Marshalls goes to new level with deportation order

11:25 am on 29 November 2010

The Marshall Islands government is attempting to deport a Nauru government official who is embroiled in a land dispute with the Marshall Islands President.

The land in the Marshall Islands has been leased by Nauru since the 1970s.

Nauru now wants to relinquish the property but the landowners are demanding 600,000 US dollars from Nauru to clean-up the real estate in the capital, Majuro.

The Marshalls President, Jurelang Zedkaia, also says Nauru still has 30 years left on the lease.

Our correspondent in the Marshall Islands, Giff Johnson, reports.

"The lastest development is the Attorney General office's deportation order against Rubin Tsitsi who is the manager of the Nauru property here, and has been here for nearly 20 years and has married locally and has kids. They are saying his visa for being here has expired but he already appealed to the High court in Majuro to block the deportation order."

Giff Johnson says no date has been set by the court to hear the Mr Tsitsi's motion.