9 Aug 2003

Keke confirms six Melanesian Brothers dead

7:51 am on 9 August 2003

Six members of the Solomon Islands religious order, the Melanesian Brotherhood, who were taken hostage by Guadalcanal rebel Harold Keke, are dead.

Keke confirmed this today in a meeting with Nick Warner, the head of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

Keke also told Mr Warner he would disarm within a week.

Mr Warner says during the two-hour meeting held in a local church, the two agreed that Keke's rebels would surrender their guns and allow the RAMSI team to open a police post near his stronghold.

The six Melanesian Brothers had gone to the Weather Coast in May after reports of the killing of Brother Nathaniel Sado.

Keke was accused of killing Brother Sado.

The Brothers had gone to confirm the reports of the murder, and if so to ensure Brother Sado was properly buried.