23 Dec 2002

Peace settlement expected to be offered to Solomon Islands rebel leader

4:54 pm on 23 December 2002

A Solomon Islands MP says he expects a peace settlement to be offered to rebel leader, Harold Keke, in the new year.

Y Sato, who's the MP for West Honiara, says too much money has been spent trying to track down Keke on the Guadalcanal weather coast.

He says the government will send Guadalcanal peace co-ordinator, Kamilo Teke, to open the door for talks with Keke in the new year but it should plan on withdrawing the 30 police officers still monitoring his activities.

"I think this is a first condition, if all police forces are not withdrawal I don't think Harold Keke will accept immediate negotiations with the teams. How much money is the Government spending ....it's totally got a hold on this country at the moment."

Y Sato says compensation money was offered to Keke by the government in March this year for the killing of three relatives but he's unable to confirm if it's been paid because the situation has changed so much.