3 Dec 2010

PNG squatters defy eviction order

9:40 am on 3 December 2010

Hundreds of squatters remain on a section between 8-Mile and 9-Mile settlements in Papua New Guinea's capital despite an eviction order.

More than 800 squatters, mostly West Papuan refugees, were this week evicted from the area which is owned by a former MP, Sir Pita Lus, who wants to develop the land.

Following a court challenge to the eviction last June, Sir Pita was told to give the residents more time to move out.

A local journalist Jeffrey Elapa says Sir Pita now believes he has given them ample time and has obtained an order to force them out.

He says bulldozers have begun clearing the land and crops.

"They're clearing the place and they've gone to fence the entire perimeter. Some people have gone: they've been forced out and left looking for a place to stay. But some are still in their houses. They've been given this week and next week to move out of their houses, so they (developers) can demolish their houses and they can take their stuff with them."