4 Mar 2013

Solomons warlord had same goal as Mandela says former deputy PM

9:17 am on 4 March 2013

A Guadalcanal leader of a bloody campaign against people from Malaita during a period of violent ethnic unrest in Solomon Islands is being described by an author as having the same goals as Nelson Mandela.

Harold Keke is serving a life sentence for murder committed during the tensions, which began in the late 90s and subsided in 2003 following intervention by an Australian-led regional peacekeeping force.

A former Solomon Islands deputy prime minister, Kamilo Teke, played a key role in Keke's surrender to the Solomon Islands government and has written a book about the experience.

"I told him Nelson Mandela, he has the same idea as he has but he did it in a different way, a different approach. You see Guadalcanal is on one of the islands that is very prosperous, rich in mineral and natural resources and I think almost three-quarters of the land had been taken by other people and he was trying to save the land and the people's land."

Kamilo Teke says Harold Keke admitted he had gone about that the wrong way.