15 May 2008

Solomons government to meet compensation claims from gun owners

9:41 am on 15 May 2008

The Solomon Islands government says it will decide on compensation claims by legal firearms owners who surrendered weapons during the disarmament campaign in 2003.

When the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) intervened after years of armed social unrest, the ruling government then ordered a nationwide disarmament of both legal and illegal firearms holders.

The Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua has confirmed receiving a cabinet paper on the issue from the Minister of Police and National Security, Samuel Manetoali and acknowledged the long delay in addressing it.

The prime Minister said the government has delayed endorsement of the submission.

Dr Sikua says he has referred the paper back to the concerned ministry to be reviewed as some important aspects of the issue have not been included.

He said an example is that the names of gun owners have not been identified in the submission.

Dr Sikua said claims made by some former licensed gun owners are becoming excessive.