29 Apr 2002

Solomons launches gun amnesty deadline

7:15 am on 29 April 2002

Solomon Islands has set a deadline for the handing in of illegal weapons under a gun amnesty.

The Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Peace Monitoring council jointly launched Gun Amnesty Deadline Day.

The PMC Chairman, Paul Tovua, said in the public broadcast that at least five hundred illegal guns were still being held by militants.

He said they now had until May the 31st to hand in weapons, ammunition and explosives or the law would hunt them down as criminals.

Mr Tovua said the people of the Solomon Islands were fed up with the selfish minority who hang onto those illegal weapons and use them to hurt and threaten innocent people, women and children.

He said those who hand in their weapons will be given special certificates which will be recognised in court as evidence that a person has surrendered their weapons.

It will also qualify ex-militants for the rehabilitation programme being developed by the Government and the United Nations Development Programme.