24 Jun 2002

International peace monitors in Solomons wind up operation

4:19 pm on 24 June 2002

The international peace monitor team, the IPMT, in Solomon Islands is winding up its operation 18 months after being deployed.

The Australian and New Zealand-run team was put in place after the 2000 Townsville Peace Agreement that ended the ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal.

George Atkin reports.



The IPMT says the majority of the team will leave Solomon Islands tomorrow while a small number will remain to finish off outstanding administrative jobs. They will leave at the end of the month. IPMT members have been engaged in monitoring the peace process and locking up in sealed containers guns surrendered by the former militants. Since the end of the guns amnesty deadline on May 31st the IPMT has destroyed more than 2,000 guns, mostly home-made, by dumping them at sea. But it says a large number of high-powered weapons stolen from the Honiara police armoury are still at large.