3 Oct 2003

In Solomon Islands displaced Weathercoast people encouraged to return home

5:59 pm on 3 October 2003

The Solomon Islands police commissioner, Bill Morrell, says they are now encouraging people who fled violence on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal to return home and begin rebuilding their lives.

More than 1500 people fled to Honiara several months after an escalation in violence which has been blamed on the former rebel leader Harold Keke.

The Regional Assistance Mission last month began providing those who had remained on the Weather Coast with emergency food supplies and now Mr Morrell says they are encouraging the people in Honiara to return.

"we are in the process now of encouraging people to come back there, certainly the schools were re-opening there, so a positive sign, but I think that because of all the difficulties in the last few years, it's going to take time to help heal some of the rifts as well."