29 Apr 2009

Large crowd attends launch of Solomons Truth and Reconciliation Commission

2:32 pm on 29 April 2009

Thousands of Solomon Islanders have turned out to witness the launch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu this morning.

Speaking at the outdoor ceremony in Honiara, the Minister for National Reconciliation, Unity and Peace Sam Iduri said the presence of the South African Archbishop gave the Solomon Islands confidence and hope.

The Archbishop told Solomon Islanders that if peace could come to his country it could come to them.

He bestowed a blessing on the three commissioners from Solomon Islands.

The commission is expected to hear testimony from thousands of people caught up in ethnic violence which left 100 people dead and 20,000 displaced between 1998 and 2003.

It is an independent body with three national and two international commissioners.

Financial and technical support for the commission has come from the Solomon Islands government and international contributors including Australia, New Zealand, the European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme.