7 Feb 2005

Solomons minister claims police inaction over gun problem

4:38 pm on 7 February 2005

A Solomon Islands government minister has told parliament that some people in his electorate on Guadalcanal still have home-made guns.

The land minister, Siriako Usa, says he and his community have reported the matter to both the police and to the National Peace Council but no action has been taken.

The Peace Council chairman, Pail Tovua, has denied seeing the report but has instructed staff to obtain a copy of Mr Usa's statement made in parliament .

The minister says many former militants in his electorate are holding on to guns used during the uprising in the late 1990's.

He says law and order cannot be fully restored unless these people are arrested.

Mr Usa says once the armed personnel of the regional assistance mission leave, the guns hidden in caves and in the ground will surface.