30 Dec 2015

Solomons government pays ex-militants

11:55 am on 30 December 2015

The Solomon Islands government has confirmed that it has begun implementing a programme to rehabilitate ex-militants more than a decade after ethnic tensions ended in the country.

An initial payment of US$375,000 was paid last week to the Solomon Islands Post Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association which is said to represents ex-militants from both sides of the conflict.

A statement from the prime minister's office confirmed the payment while at the same time refuting local media reports that US$37 million was paid.

It further stated the rehabilitation package was only for ex Malaita Eagle Force members while discussions continue to determine payments for ex-members of the rival Guadalcanal Isatabu Freedom Movement.

According to the statement the rehabilitation payments are to honour commitments made by government in 2000 at the signing of the Townsville Peace Agreement which was instrumental in bringing about the end of the conflict.

It is understood a programme outlining further plans for rehabilitating ex-militants will be put to cabinet in the New Year.

Militants surrender arms in 2003

Militants surrender arms in 2003 Photo: AFP

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