13 Jan 2004

More Solomon Island refugees return to Weather Coast

4:36 pm on 13 January 2004

More than 250 people who fled fighting and civic unrest in the Solomon Islands will return to their villages on the remote Weather Coast of Guadacanal on Wednesday.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) says that more than 1,500 people had returned to the formerly lawless and strife-torn Weather Coast region in recent months.

Wednesday's trip will be the sixth boat trip chartered by international donors to return the internal refugees.

NDMO Deputy Director Martin Karani says the resettlement has occurred with only only minimal difficulties.

Mr Karani says apart from small harrassment, the people have been settling down well.

He says some former members of the Guadacanal Liberation Front led by Harold Keke, were unhappy with some of the returning villagers.