28 Oct 2003

Displaced Solomon Islanders call for arrest of ex-militants

4:20 pm on 28 October 2003

Displaced people in Solomon Islands say they want ex-militants arrested on the Guadalcanal weathercoast before they consider returning home.

Martin Karani, the deputy director of the National Disaster Management office, says despite the collection of guns and the arrests of some rebel leaders, villagers remain afraid.

He says 560 displaced people have indicated they want to head back to their own villages.

But, Mr Karani says they don't yet believe it's safe to return to the weathercoast despite the assurances of the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, over the situation.

"The GLF boys, they still have axes and knives, and spears and that kind of thing."

They wanted the police, RAMSI, to, if possible, arrest all those people implicated with serious offences and crimes before they could considered that place secured for them to go back.

SOLS SECURE TP

IN: The GLF boys, they still have axes and knives

OUT: secured for them to go back.

DUR: 18

Mr Karani says they're hoping that villagers may be able to return home by the end of November.