5 Mar 2012

Solomon Islands people prepared to reconcile over ethnic conflict

8:17 pm on 5 March 2012

The chairperson of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission says people are definitely prepared to reconcile over ethnic tensions in which thousands were displaced and an unknown number killed.

The body was set up to investigate the causes of the civil unrest between 1998 and 2003, which began when Guadalcanal militants forced many Malaitan settlers off the island.

The commission's report, based on 11 hearings around the country, has been formally handed to the prime minister and will become public after it's presented to parliament.

The commission's Father Sam Aata says people are prepared to make peace, as long as the process is handled with respect.

"And according to the customs and culture of people. But also the issues are properly addressed - by the government but also those concerned, the perpetrators."

Father Sam Ata says the government is legally bound to implement the report's recommendations, which include reparation.