14 Jan 2004

254 internal refugees in Solomon Islands to return home

12:05 pm on 14 January 2004

More than 250 people who fled fighting and unrest in Solomon Islands are today due to return to their villages on the Weather Coast of Guadacanal.

The National Disaster Management Office says with 254 people aboard, it will be the sixth boat chartered by international donors to return the internal refugees.

The Office also says more than 15-hundred people had returned to the formerly lawless Weather Coast region in recent months.

Its deputy Director Martin Karani says the resettlement has gone well so far, with only minimal difficulties encountered.

Mr Karani says apart from small harassment, 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.