17 May 2007

Moves in Solomons to solve land issues

4:34 pm on 17 May 2007

Progress is being made in Solomon Islands to come to terms with the country's ethnic tensions in 2000 when thousands of Malaitans were forced to leave Guadalcanal.

Two steering committees are trying to find out if there is public support to set up commissions that would deal with the atrocities committed during the social unrest in 2000.

One steering committee is looking into setting up an Inquiry of Land Dealings on Guadalcanal.

Its secretary, Chris Waiwori, says land was a core issue that led to the tensions in 2000.

"We need this commission because one of the main issues affecting especially Guadalcanal province prior to the ethnic tension is land. During the tension all the settlers from other provinces have been chased away by the Guadalcanal people. They have vacated their land, they have vacated their properties. The commission would look at the land of those ones that have been abandoned and affected during the tension."

Chris Waiwori.

The other steering committee is looking into the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, while a commission dealing with the riot last year has already been set up.