13 Sep 2004

Militants reported to be re-grouping in Solomon's province of Guadalcanal

7:25 am on 13 September 2004

Provincial police in Solomon Islands are moving to quell the re-formation of a militant group in the area of Guadalcanal.

Local officers, with the help of the military and police officers of the Regional Assistance Mission are monitoring the troubled area of Gold Ridge.

Provincial Police Commander of Guadalcanal Province, Peter Oriensaka said so far communities in the area are working closely with police to ensure law and order is maintained in the villages whilst efforts continue to find the small band of renegades.

He said already arrests have been made but some former militants who were granted bail have regrouped and are believed to be in the mountains of Guadalcanal.

The re-formation of a militant group in the area has raised concern following efforts by government and landowners to have the mine reopened.

Last week, tender was opened overseas for interested mining companies to reopen the Gold Ridge Mine which closed at the height of the ethnic crisis in the country in 2000.