2 May 2005

Solomons call for former militants to come out of Malaita bush

12:34 pm on 2 May 2005

The Solomon Islands Peace Council says it will continue to talk to some former militants on Malaita to come out of the bush and surrender to the police .

A council member told local radio that an unspecified number of former militants began hiding after the arrival of the regional assistance mission to Solomon Islands nearly two years ago.

The peace council and the police suspect that the men could be holding on to some of the estimated 1,000 weapons still in circulation illegally.

One former militant is reported to have surrendered.

Regional police posted to North Malaita say they have not been threatened and both police and chiefs say villagers would feel safer if the former militants surrendered.