8 Jul 2003

Guadalcanal Weather Coasters concerned about armed intervention force

4:03 pm on 8 July 2003

A Solomon Islands government envoy says people on the Weather Coast are afraid they will suffer if a military force attempts to flush out rebel, Harold Keke.

Independent MP, Y Sato, has negotiated a ceasefire with Keke who says he wants reconciliation, in the face of government plans to bring an armed intervention force into the country to restore law and order.

It's known that Keke, who refused to sign the Townsville Peace Accord and is responsible for the deaths of many on the Weather Coast, is considered a target.

Y Sato says a thousand villagers met his party when it arrived on the weekend and they expressed real concern.

"Village people, church leaders or womens associations, they all have quite big fears, if interruptions come again, by overseas peoples.They big worry about it because they have many children , many innocent peoples. They might be involved if this interruptions start."

Y Sato says he's meeting with the police commissioner and the prime minister and will recommend that they continue to negotiate with Keke rather than send an armed force in.