7 Nov 2008

Solomons gun compo scheme to go to provinces

4:08 pm on 7 November 2008

The Solomon Islands Police Minister says the team paying compensation to members of the public who handed in their guns after the ethnic tensions will go out to the provinces involved.

Licensed Solomon Islands gun holders who surrendered their weapons in 2003 to RAMSI have started receiving their compensation from the Police Ministry this week in Honiara.

Government has allocated half a million US dollars for the payments with 1,726 people reportedly eligible for compensation.

The Minister, Samuel Manetoali, says the scheme has helped take many dangerous weapons out of public reach.

"There may be guns around. But what we are paying out now is what was handed in in 2003. They are paying out those gun-owners in Honiara and Guadalcanal and then later they will go to the other provinces to pay them there, in the provinces, the current market price [of the gun]."

.22 rifle owners are being paid 340 US dollars per person and shot gun rifle holders almost 200 dollars.