24 Mar 2005

Solomons new Minister for National Reconciliation wants land disputes solved by chiefs

10:17 am on 24 March 2005

Solomon Islands new Minister for National Reconciliation and Peace,

James Tora, says the issues of land disputes that have arisen from the

ethnic crisis should be solved by chiefs.

Mr Tora, who was sworn in by the Governor General Sir Nathaniel Waena yesterday, acknowledged that the underlying causes of the crisis were yet to be solved.

"Those issues should go back to the chiefs, and then those people can deal with those land disputes and then of course they can come and facilitate...in terms of finance."

Mr Tora says the peace achieved so far can only be long lasting if the

issue of land ownership is solved.

Mr Tora takes over the portfolio following the sacking of Police Minister Michael Maina and Provincial Minister Clement Rojumana.