26 Jul 2012

Call for more time for Solomons truth and reconciliation process

1:15 pm on 26 July 2012

The co-ordinator of the national peace and trauma programme for Solomon Islands' Truth and Reconciliation Commission says more time is needed for people to recount what happened to them during the ethnic tensions.

The Commission was launched in 2009 as part of the healing process from the five years of ethnic conflict between 1998 and 2003 on the island of Guadalcanal.

Martha Horiwapo helped prepare people to tell their stories at 11 public hearings conducted around the country over a two-year period.

She says although people are anxious for the commission's recommendations on reconciliation, both the victims and the perpetrators need more time to talk about their experiences.

"I would like to see the government helping churches to go out there and do healing process. Because true healing process people will really accept forgiveness. We just can't force people to forgive when you have experienced a lot of horrible things. And time given to TRC is very short. I think if they give more time to TRC a lot of people will come out and tell their stories."

Martha Horiwapo says the government must work hard to resolve the issues that produced the tensions.