Police express empathy for Savai’i terror

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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The Salelavalu Village Council holds a meeting regarding the incident involving young men in the village, on Tuesday afternoon.

The Salelavalu Village Council holds a meeting regarding the incident involving young men in the village, on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo: Misiona Simo/Samoa Observer)

The Ministry of Police has expressed empathy to the families and individuals affected during the three-day reign of lawlessness in Savai’i last weekend.

In doing so, Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, has also downplayed questions about the Police response.

In the wake of the weekend of terror on the big island, members of the public present say the Police in Savai’i were poorly equipped to stop the angry mob of men hurling rocks at each other and firing off gun shots at will.

“We will review our response capability for Savai’i when it comes to these types of incidents,” he said.

In the meantime, he said the Police are happy that law and order has been restored. He acknowledged the important work of the Village Councils in helping the Police.

The sequence of events in Savai’i started from a regular game of billiards at Salelologa, which turned violent when a fight broke out.  

The Samoa Observer was told that the fight escalated to the burning of the house at Salelologa where the billiard game was held on Saturday night. 

Gunshots were fired and homes in Salelologa were stoned.

On Sunday night, the men from Salelologa reacted by blocking the road, seeking out Salelavalu villagers. 

The roadblock affected innocent members of the public who were on their way to catch the ferry to Upolu yesterday morning.

Still unsatisfied on Monday some men from Salelologa turned their attention to ransacking the Salelologa market yesterday morning, targeting Salelavalu villagers (see other story). 

Video footage captured the men harassing and smashing properties, helping themselves to whatever they could get their hands on.

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