12 May 2008

Solomon's government denies promising cash rehabilitation to ex combatants

10:17 am on 12 May 2008

The Solomon Islands acting Prime Minister says an article claiming the government's failure to pay a promised "cash rehabilitation" to ex-combatants is untrue and misleading.

"The Island Sun newspaper story accused the government of failing to pay a cash rehabilitation package of over 2 thousand US dollars for former Malaita Eagle Force or MEF members."

But Fred Fono said it is a misrepresentation of the whole issue, saying the government's rehabilitation package has never been promised in the form of hard cash.

Mr Fono said its policy on rehabilitation is clearly defined to be made in the form of development or community projects that will engage former combatants in the long term.

He said the government has never promised any cash rehabilitation packages as claimed and it will only encourage rehabilitation in the form of development projects.

Mr Fono said whatever cash promises made by previous governments' is the issue for those in power at that time, and not the present government.