Mass Eviction

Some 1,000 people were reportedly affected in a police operation that began Thursday to move the people out of the plots of land they were living in.

Vanuatu Police Force Field Commander Jack Tallis, says the Supreme Court gave an eviction order, and police acted on the order and evicted the people.

He says those affected come from almost every islands in the country.

The plots of land in question were sold by Bladinieres Estate (Urban) Ltd to some people who already held titles for the plots and then these scores of plots of land were later on resold by David Abel to some other people who were occupying the plots to today.

The original owners went to court and requested the court to help them get their land back and the court ruled in their favor and gave the squatters three months to leave.

And when they did not move, the police moved in Thursday morning and enforced the warrant for possession of the land.

The police used heavy works machinery to level gardens and remove all fruit trees and other plants and the whole vegetation.

Inspector Tallis says due to the size of the land in question, the operation is expected to take the police several days to complete the enforcement order.

He adds that the eviction exercise is a joint police operation involving 65 personnel from the Traffic, General Duties, Criminal Investigation units and the Vanuatu Mobile Force.

Inspector Tallis expresses his gratitude to many of the people affected who took upon themselves to remove their houses and pack away their belongings included housing materials to be moved away before the police moved in with heavy machinery.

Unfortunately, garden plants such as bananas, leaves for laplap, pandanus plants and fruit trees could not be saved when the bulldozer and grader moved in and destroyed everything. Some of the people chopped down patches of their banana plants before the police arrived.

Field Commander Tallis is appealing to those people in the plots of land still to be evacuated to make arrangements to remove their belongings before the operation for the eviction order reaches them today and in the coming days.

On December 11, 2017 the Supreme Court approved an Eviction Warrant for Possession of Land Order after it was filed on October 13, 2017 following the Civil Case No. 158 of 2013 between Bladinieres Estate (Urban) Ltd, Claimant, and David Abel and Others, First Defendants, and a list of people who paid money to David Abel for the land later on as Second Defendants.

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