24 Jul 2003

Australia deploys force in Solomon Islands

3:23 pm on 24 July 2003

Australian troops on board the H-M-A-S Manoora have started unloading equipment and supplies on the beach east of Honiara, the Solomon Islands capital.

The numbers of the Australian-led intervention force are expected to swell today, as peace-keepers from New Zealand and other Pacific Islands, join the Australian soldiers.

Meanwhile, a Solomon Islands MP, Y Sato, says he knows nothing about the whereabouts or welfare of six Melanesian Brothers held by rebel Harold Keke since the beginning of May.

Y Sato travelled to the Guadalcanal Weather coast yesterday to help secure the release of another three members of the church group.

This follows the release of four nearly two weeks ago and comes as Keke has indicated a willingness to join the peace process.