VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNED ABOUT PERSONNEL SAFETY IN SOLOMONS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 19, 1999 - PACNEWS/SIBC)---Six overseas volunteer organizations in the Solomon Islands have written to Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu expressing concern about the safety of their personnel working in Guadalcanal province, the scene of recent ethnic tension.

The organizations also raised similar concerns with the Minister of Education.

They cited the example of two American Peace Corps volunteers who were recently evacuated from Avu Avu, Guadalcanal because of the expanding ethnic conflicts.

The letter was signed by the United States Peace Corps, United Nations Volunteers, the British Volunteer Service Overseas, Volunteer Service Abroad of Australia, Japanese Overseas Community Volunteers and the Canadian University Students Organization.

The volunteer groups said the personal safety of their volunteers was of the highest priority and the spread of the ethnic violence in Guadalcanal may affect their well being.

They are seeking reassurances from the Government about the safety of the volunteers.

The organizations provide volunteers mainly in the education sector.

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