10 Oct 2002

Solomon Islands Weather Coast remains police "no-go area"

11:31 am on 10 October 2002

Solomon Islands Police have confirmed that there are at least 17 murder cases on the Weather Coast that are not being investigated because of the presence in the area of rebel leader Harold Keke.

The Director of the Criminal Investigations Department, Jackson Ofu, says the police are unable to travel to the Weather Coast because Harold Keke and his men are armed and better resourced.

Mr Ofu says police are running investigations into ten men who went missing on a trip to the Weather Coast, but have been restricted to Honiara.

He says there are two suspects living in Honiara related to the case, but he would like to be able to travel to the coast.

Mr Ofu says Harold Keke needs to be removed from the area so police can investigate the unsolved murders.

"There's around about 14 murder cases I think up there not mentioning the 10 missing men and the killing of the late Father Geve and one other church pastor who was beheaded a month ago I suppose. Apart from those three murders there are other reports of atrocities and killings out there."