26 Jul 2007

American Samoan Congressman calls for U.S. to right wrongs in Marshall Islands

2:37 pm on 26 July 2007

American Samoa's Congressman has called for the United States to do everything possible to make things right for the people of the Marshall Islands.

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin was speaking at a U.S. House subcommittee, conducting an overview of the Compact of Free Association between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands.

He says Congress has real work to do for the Marshall Islands, which includes taking a hard look at the problems surrounding the Kwajalein missile range.

Faleomavaega says Kwajalein landowners have challenged the legality and adequacy of the Compact provisions, arguing that the US and Marshall Islands governments did not obtain their consent for lease of the land, and that basic services and economic conditions on the atolls are substandard.

He says residents of Bikini and Enewetak atolls have also filed lawsuits against the U.S. government seeking compensation related to US nuclear testing.