24 Mar 2005

Solomons minister seeks chiefs' role in settling land disputes

4:43 pm on 24 March 2005

Solomon Islands new Minister for National Reconciliation and Peace, James Tora, says land disputes must be resolved before development of land can take place.

Mr Tora, who was sworn in by the Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena, says while the process of reconciliation is progressing well, the underlying causes of the country's ethnic crisis are yet to be solved.

But he says solving land dispute issues requires local Chiefs to take a leading role in the resolution process.

"We'll be working closely to ensure that land disputes are resolved. That has to be the chiefs' role - to see that the land disputes are settled or resolved, so it can left open for development."

James Tora takes over the portfolio following the sacking of Police Minister Michael Maina and Provincial Minister Clement Rojumana.