Samoa. During the year, the government had a protracted
conflict with villagers over the right to land, a historical
dispute issue in Samoa. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the residents of Satapuala occupied
an area outside the country's international airport Faleolo.
The village had been relocated when the airport was built in
the 1940s, when New Zealand ruled over the island and the
villages' traditional ownership of land was violated. The
land now belongs to the Samoa government, and the village
has for years tried in court in vain to regain the right to
part of the land.
In August, the conflict turned violent when villagers
armed with machete, stones and kerosene bottles blocked the
road from the airport to the capital Apia. Tourists were
hindered and the flight canceled. A large police raid was
forced out and was able to disperse the villagers with
Several ministers and other top politicians were accused
of corruption in the run-up to the elections in the coming
years. The Speaker of Parliament was called in, and the
opposition leader accused the government of increasing
poverty in the country by putting tax money on bad
investments, such as the bankrupt Polynesian Airlines.
According to the opposition, the number of child sellers and
beggars in the streets increased.