9 Jun 2003

Former Solomon's Prime Minister warns against the introduction of armed peacekeepers

8:30 am on 9 June 2003

A former Solomon Islands' Prime Minister has cautioned the government against allowing armed peacekeepers to be deployed from New Zealand and Australia.

A delegation from those two countries is due in Honiara tomorrow to discuss the security situation.

Manasseh Sogavare says any armed force would have a negative effect on the government's ability to run the country.

He says the Solomons is still suffering the results of unfair and selective development over many decades.

Mr Sogavare told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation that the government continues to turn a blind eye to the problems that led to ethnic tension breaking out three years ago.

He says any armed intervention would be against the spirit of the Townsville Peace Agreement, that was based on the principles of trust and confidence.