7 Jul 2003

Renewed hopes that Melanesian Brothers close to release in Solomon Islands

3:58 pm on 7 July 2003

The Archbishop of the Church of Melanesia in Solomon Islands, Sir Ellison Pogo, says he hopes six Brothers held by rebel leader Harold Keke on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal will soon be released.

The six Brothers have been held since the beginning of May, but four novices released by Keke at the weekend have indicated the Brothers are alive.

Coinciding with the release Keke announced a ceasefire.

Sir Ellison says the freed novices are being kept from the media as part of a deal with Keke.

"the novices are not going to be interviewed and be exposed to the media because that is one of the things he hates most, and so we are trying to confine the novices who have been released secretly, somewhere from the media at the moment, and they have not said anything except to say the brothers are okay...they have been treated well and they are still alive"

Sir Ellison Pogo.


A new appeal has been issued to Harold Keke to surrender.

The Catholic Archbishop for the Solomons, Adrian Smith, made this call during a multi denominational church service for the country's 25th anniversary of independence.

I don't suppose he is listening, but I hope he is...I ask Harold Keke and his fighting men to listen to the cry of the whole nation, come out under the white flag