INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cease Fire Talks

Published: Tue 6 Jun 2000 02:39 PM
Headline News from Solomon Islands Broadcasting Company SIBC
Cease Fire Talks
Government should be able to tell by tomorrow(Thursday) whether the cease-fire talks between the two militant groups on Guadalcanal proposed for this Friday will go ahead at all.
SIBC understands the Assistance Peace Envoy to Solomon Islands, Professor Ade Adefuye had in the last few days worked on getting members of the militant factions to agree to talk at a venue yet to be confirmed.
The cease-fire talks is part of the peace process agreed on during the recent Buala and Auki peace talks.
The Government had earlier lifted the Order banning Isatabu Freedom Movement and the Malaita Eagle Force inorder to facilitate the ceasefire talks.
SIPL
The Solomon Islands Plantations Limited has suspended its operations on Guadalcanal for an indefinite period.
A decision to suspend the company's operations was reached last Monday in a meeting between the shareholders of the company.
Currently the company employs 70 security personnel and 30 staff after it signed a memorandum of understanding, M-O-U, with shareholders last December for work on the oil palm trees and the mills to continue.
This was after the company was forced to close June 12 last year because of the ethnic tension on Guadalcanal.
Although the M-O-U was signed SIBC understands threats against staff and the company's contractors did not allow them to go into production as planned for June this year.
S-I-P-L was registered in 1971 and began exporting palm oil in 1976.
The suspension will continue until the law and order situation on Guadalcanal is restored.
EU Mission
The fact-finding mission from the European Union to Solomon Islands should begin their visit to areas affected by the ethnic tension starting tomorrow.
The mission led by the Co-President of EU, John Alexander Corrie, is expected to visit Mbalasuna area and Aruligo on Guadalcanal, where they are also expected to meet members of the Isatabu Freedom Movement.
They will travel to Malaita tomorrow to see the impacts of the ethnic tension there and meet the island's provincial executive.
The group was scheduled to meet the Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, and Assistant Commonwealth Peace Envoy, Professor Ade Adefuye, this morning. It is also expected to meet the spokesman for the Malaita Eagles Force Andrew Nori this afternoon.
Western Condemns
Western provincial government condemns the action of certain people placing notices around Gizo which may jeopardised the peace in the province.
In a statement disassociating province's association with such action, Premier Reuben Lilo says the works can only be that of people who don't value peace and are full of hatred.
He says the people of Western province want peace and do not subscribe to ethnic hatred nor part of the ethnic unrest on Guadalcanal.
Mr Lilo says that the Western province leadership will not bow down to attempted acts of blackmail and will not allow hatred take root in the province.
And he appeals to citizens in the Western Province to refrain from putting up ethnic hatred notices.

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