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Sunday, August 9, 1998 Published at 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK

World: Europe

Sweden apologises to Sami people

The Swedish government has apologised for the injustices the Sami, or Lapp people, have suffered under Swedish rule.

The Agriculture Minister Annika Åhnberg on behalf of the government said the colonisation of northern Sweden had forced the indigenous Sami off their land, and led to the Sami language being suppressed.

Correspondents say there are still many unresolved land disputes between Sweden and the Sami.

Last year King Harald of Norway also apologised for injustices to the Sami.About seventy-thousand Sami are scattered throughout Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

They have limited autonomy in Norway, Sweden and Finland.

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