SOLOMON ISLANDS POLICE MAINTAIN PATROLS IN HONIARA AS PROVINCIAL TENSIONS CONTINUE

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (December 16, 1998 - PACNEWS/SIBC)---Solomon Islands police are maintaining nightly patrols in the capital, Honiara, and outside the city boundary in an effort to prevent any more trouble following the recent threats of violence on north-west Guadalcanal.

Police confirm the situation is still tense but say it is under control.

The threats of violence came as tension rose in Honiara this week, after the Premier of Guadalcanal province, Ezekiel Alebua, demanded the national government compensate the province for the capital being located in Guadalcanal.

He also said the government should pay the province rent for Honiara, and that people from outside the province should not be allowed to own land in Guadalcanal.

Yesterday, 15 men dressed in traditional wear and claiming to be from a group called the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army, gave themselves up to police.

Premier Alebua has denied the existence of such a group, and has ordered people involved in such activity to return to their homes and let the provincial authorities settle the issues with the government.

The Solomon Islands government has called a meeting of the country's nine provincial heads for Friday to discuss Guadalcanal's grievances.

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