16 Aug 2012

Samoan village sets up road block on disputed land

8:31 am on 16 August 2012

Satapuala village council in Samoa has blocked part of the public road from the capital Apia to Faleolo airport to prevent police and surveyors entering land they are claiming.

The disputed land, owned by the government's Trust Estates, is where a US funded hospital will be built.

A spokesman for Satapuala village, Vaili Mimita, says a pile of rocks has been used as a fence to partially block one side of the road in front of the village.

He says the decision to do this was unanimous after they were told police, heavy machinery and land surveyors would be there this morning to start the work on the site.

Passersby and motorists have reported seeing several village men by the road block covering their faces and armed with rifles and machetes.

But Vaili has dismissed the reports saying the village people would not do anything to break the law.

Meanwhile, opposition MP Levaopolo Talatonu this dispute between the village and the government is now posing a national security threat.