TENSIONS CONTINUE IN SOLOMON ISLANDS GUADALCANAL PROVINCE

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GUADALCANAL, Solomon Islands (May 31, 1999 - Radio Australia)--Tensions are still high in Solomon Islands Guadalcanal Province with a continuing threat of militant activities.

Radio Australia's George Atkins reports:

"Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulafa‘alu has told journalists that this is despite the recent reconciliation ceremony held in Honiara, for the people of Malaita and Guadalcanal Provinces who have been involved in an ethnic row."

"He says militant activities continue to occur in North-West Guadalcanal, North Gualalcanal, North-East Guadalcanal and Central Guadalcanal, but it has been quiet on the Weather coast of the island where the hard-core leaders of the so-called Guadalcanal Liberation Army come from."

"Mr Ulafa‘alu has confirmed that people from other provinces have either joined the militants, or have been taking advantage of the ethnic tension on the Guadalcanal Province. He says these are mainly youth who had arrived in Honiara, only to find that have nothing to do."

"Prime Minister Ulafa‘alu says this complicates efforts to ensure true peace on Guadalcanal, adding negotiations and demands by the Guadalcanal people, to the government can be hampered if militants don't lay down their arms."

"He called on the people of Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces to learn to live together in harmony."

George Atkins for Radio Australia in Solomon Islands

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