9 Jan 2003

Former Solomon Islands MP to lead peace mission to rebel leader Harold Keke

9:45 am on 9 January 2003

The Solomon Islands Government has appointed a former Guadalcanal MP, Kamilo Teke, to negotiate a peace treaty with the rebel warlord Harold Keke.

Keke, whose Guadalcanal Liberation Front refused to back the earlier Townsville Peace Agreement, has been the subject of a police hunt in recent months.

A team, which at one point numbered nearly one hundred regular police, special constables and civilians, has been on the Weather Coast trying to capture Keke, who is held responsible for dozens of deaths.

The police campaign has so far cost at least nine lives, including four members of the police team.

Acting police commissioner John Homelo says the police will remain there, but are now monitoring Keke's movements rather than pursuing him.