State of emergency in Solomon Islands after ethnic clashes
Friday 18 June 1999
The Red Cross said that 10,000 people were trying to flee the main island, Guadalcanal, where native people have attacked immigrants from the outlying islands.
The government of the South Pacific nation has appealed to the self- styled Guadalcanal Liberation Army (GLA) to lay down its arms and has asked for police support from Australia and New Zealand. The Commonwealth Secretariat in London said it had been asked for assistance by Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, the Prime Minister, and was sending Sitiveni Rabuka, former prime minister of Fiji, to visit the islands.
The trouble centres on people from the island of Malaita, many of whom have migrated to the capital, Honiara, which is on Guadalcanal. Malaitans, who include the prime minister, dominate the government, civil service and business.
Guadalcanal people complain of rising crime caused by the newcomers, whom they accuse of squatting on traditional homeland. Last weekend GLA militants drove Malaitans out of villages near Honiara.
This week the island's police commissioner, Frank Short, said that the violence had been localised and he was confident it would soon be brought under control.
Three Malaitans were killed last Saturday when squatters on a palm-oil plantation east of the capital were attacked by GLA militants.
Islanders have taken to setting up illegal roadblocks and Malaitans have responded by blocking roads in to Honiara amid rumours that it was soon to be attacked.
Nick Hurley, the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Solomons, said yesterday that an uneasy calm had returned to the city despite the growing numbers of internally displaced people.
His government had sent tarpaulins to shelter the refugees. The foreign ministries of New Zealand and Australia have advised travellers to avoid the islands.
Yesterday the government offered to pay Guadalcanal landowners $1.7m (pounds 1m) in compensation the loss of their property, on condition that the militants of the GLA came forward to surrender their arms.
In a message broadcast earlier in the week on the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, the GLA leader, Joseph Sangau, promised to surrender in return for a full amnesty for his supporters.
But Mr Ulufa'alu insisted yesterday that no such amnesty would be granted.
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Isis in Syria: 60,000 Kurds flee terror in new exodus
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...
£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...
£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...