23 Aug 2004

Solomon Islands police minister awaits report on land disputes tension

5:58 pm on 23 August 2004

The Solomon Islands police minister, Michael Maina, says an inquiry may be set up into the issues surrounding land disputes re-emerging on Guadalcanal.

The Guadalcanal provincial government has expressed concern that continued trespassing into customary lands and shorelines could provoke further violence.

The former Premier Ezekiel Alebua is the latest to voice his concern, saying the problem started soon after the signing of the Townsville Peace Agreement in 2000, and is growing every day.

Mr Maina is currently awaiting a formal report on the ongoing issue, which he says centres on people moving back into areas of customary land still under dispute.

"The question of land and especially on people who have actually lost property on the island and who went through the formal process of acquisition of land through formal means. I understand that is one of the issues that will be discussed."

Michael Maina