27 Oct 2003

Solomons Peace Council says reconciliation needed before Weather Coast refugees can go home

5:01 pm on 27 October 2003

The chairman of the National Peace Council in Solomon Islands, Paul Tovua, says recent events on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal means the return of villagers will take time.

There have been reports by one of the NPC monitors that people trying to return to their homes there, are being threatened, harassed and assaulted.

The villagers left the area during the rule of the rebel leader, Harold Keke, who is now in jail facing murder charges.

Mr Tovua says up to 40 people are planning to return to their villages on the Weather Coast, but it will take time and effort before the villagers can live together in peace again.

"Because of the killing, because of murders and rape, extortion, compensation in the past, these things are not easy to forget quickly and in any case, there is still alot of mediation, conflict resolution and reconciliation."

Paul Tavua .