25 May 2010

Commission in Solomon Islands to hear from more victims of ethnic violence

8:10 am on 25 May 2010

More than 30 victims of ethnic violence in the Solomon Islands province of Malaita are due to give evidence to the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission from tomorrow.

The Commission is holding its first provincial hearing this week in Auki in Malaita, following its first national hearing in Honiara in March.

The commission's chair, Father Sam Ata says 35 people are confirmed to appear during the three-day hearing.

He says people in Malaita were badly affected by the ethnic conflict, with about 20-thousand displaced and an unknown number killed between 1998 and 2003.

He says its important for the province to move towards reconciliation

"The conflict was between Guadalcanal and Malaitans and efforts have been made and we also want to engage in that process to ensure that reconciliation is done between these two groups."

Father Ata says churches, NGOs and the government have worked hard to establish a peace process between the communities, while the Commission is looking at individual situations.