A victim of the violence that erupted between youths of Salelologa and Salelavalu that started in the weekend
By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 29 MAY 2018: Police have identified the culprits in the violence between Salelologa and Salelavalu youths that started in the weekend.
The Police spokesman Auapa’au Logoitino told Talamua today that they are searching for the five men and the village chiefs have given their assurance to assist the police. Several young men were held and questioned by the police yesterday and all have been released.
“We have identified the men, 3 from Salelavalu and 2 from Salelologa; we have also appealed to the village chiefs of both villages to assist us by turning in the 5 men we are looking for.”
Auapa’au added, there is peace now after consultations between police and the village councils of Salelavalu and Salelologa.
“Earlier on today we met with Salelologa village chiefs and they have committed their help to assist the police in turning in the youths who were behind the dispute, we are scheduled to meet with village chiefs of Salelavalu this afternoon,” said Auapa’au.
“The Ministry of Women, Community and Development are also meeting with the government representatives and committee members from the villages involved to restore order.”
According to Auapa’au, there were two men who suffered minor injuries. “They have been discharged from the Tuasivi hospital, and no, there are no deaths or critical injuries at this stage.”
Police are still investigating the cause of the dispute. “We are continuing our investigations, but what we can confirm is that alcohol was involved. Marijuana is suspected and we are investigating.”
Auapa’au said there are reports that the latest violence has roots in an incident that occurred before Mother’s Day. “We are looking into how it started.”
Yesterday, 53 police officers from the Tactical Operation Squad and uniform officers were dispatched from Apia to Savaii on the patrol boat Nafanua in response to the escalating vandalism at the Salelologa market and roadblocks in the three corners infront of the Eveni Shop. Another roadblock was set up on the border with Salelavalu village.
“We are still in Savaii, there was no violence last night and we hope if everything goes well we will be back in Apia tomorrow.”
Member of Parliament for Fa’asaleleaga constituency, Sili Epa Tuioti, told the media today, he was not sure what sparked the violence.
“In fact it was an issue that was discussed during the village council’s Monday meeting, and I think that while the village council was trying to sort out the problem, some youths went to the market at Salelologa and vandalized some properties,” said Sili.
“The incident does not paint a good picture for Samoa in terms of tourism and especially the government is moving towards implementing plans for a town in Salelologa.”
The minister said he has all faith in the two Village Councils to work together with the police in maintaining peace amongst the youths of both villages.