11 Jan 2008

Solomons PM apologises to Malaitans for wrongs of ethnic crisis

3:09 pm on 11 January 2008

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Derek Sikua, has apologised to the people of Malaita for the offences and injustices committed against them during the recent ethnic tension.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports that in his address in the provincial capital Auki, Dr Sikua acknowledged that Malaitans felt they were not welcome in other parts of Solomon Islands.

Dr Sikua then apologised on behalf of Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands.

The Prime Minister said he was committed to work extra hard to achieve meaningful reconciliation between all peoples, as well as Malaita and Guadalcanal Provinces.

In the late 1990's many Malaitan settlers were forced off Guadalcanal and in 2000, Malaitan militants with the support of the police seized power in coup.

Dr Sikua, who was elected last month, is from Guadalcanal, succeeding two prime ministers who hailed from neither Guadalcanal or Malaita.