9 Mar 2010

20 victims due to testify at Solomons Truth and Reconciliation Commission

1:14 pm on 9 March 2010

About 20 victims of the ethnic tensions in Solomon Islands are expected to tell their stories to the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission today.

The victims from Malaita will be the first to appear before the commission, which today will hold its first hearing following its launch last April.

The tensions claimed 100 lives and displaced about 20,000 people between 1998 and 2003.

Our correspondent in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham, says there is a lot of interest in the start of the hearings

"I think a lot of people are really nervous about it. They are not sure what the reactions will be. It's had a lot of very good media coverage leading up to it, and today its being televised by television, radio nationally. So I think there will be a lot of people watching and being interested as to what will be happening during this process."

Dorothy Wickham says the Commission emphasises that it's not a court, but that its job is to provide an accurate record of what occurred so it can be prevented from happening again.

She says some people are skeptical about whether this can be achieved.