1 Jul 2002

Gun surrender programme in Solomons must continue

3:43 pm on 1 July 2002

An advisor with the Solomon Islands Development Trust, John Roughan, says the process of encouraging people to return illegal weapons must continue.

An amnesty for the return of weapons ended five weeks ago, but hundreds of high powered guns taken from police armouries remain unaccounted for.

The Opposition has suggested the Government may get around this problem by reclassifying the missing guns, for instance, as hunting implements.

John Roughan says such a quick easy fix will not work.

He says people need to realise it could take years and compares the disarmament process with the 30 years it has taken militants in Northern Ireland to surrender their guns. .

"......if it has taken that long for a much more sophisticated rebellion I am afraid to say it is going to take us many more years, so I think we have to be given the chance to work it out, knowing full well there is not go to be any magic silver bullet."

John Roughan.