3 May 2017

Tense situation in Solomons as squatters resist eviction orders

3:20 pm on 3 May 2017

Police in Solomon Islands are closely monitoring a tense situation in the capital after squatters, angry about eviction orders against them, burnt down a house belonging to the local land-owning company.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

The land in West Honiara has belonged to the Hatanga Group for more than 20 years but it has not been able to develop it because of squatters residing on it.

A company spokesperson said eviction orders were granted by the High Court in 2006 but were repeatedly defied by squatters.

The tensions arose in recent weeks when police stepped in to carry out the eviction orders.

The spokesperson said most of the squatting families co-operated with police but a community from the Reef Islands in Temotu Province resisted and burnt down a Hatanga staff member's house in retaliation.

Fortunately the worker occupying the house and his young family were able to escape unscathed.

Solomon Islands Police said a full report from officers on the ground was expected this afternoon.

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