SOLOMON ISLANDS PRIME MINISTER SAYS ARMS STORED IN NEW ZEALAND BELONGS TO THE

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GOVERNMENT

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (June 7, 1999 - PACNEWS)---The Solomon Islands Government is yet to decide on what to do with arms bought by the former Mamaloni Government, currently stored in New Zealand.

This was revealed in Parliament by Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa’alu and his National Security Minister, Robin Mesepitu.

Ulufa’alu said the arms, worth US$ 12.6 million were bought from an arms supplier in the United States more than a year ago.

The Government has agreed to store the arms for two years in New Zealand. The two years expires at the end of this year.

Mesepitu said the Government has not decided on what it will do with the arms, to sell them or bring them to Port Vila.

Former Prime Minister Solomon Mamaloni had bought the arms for civil purposes and use during emergency period.

The consignment includes a hanger, night vision equipment and other sophisticated military hardwares.

They were diverted and stored in New Zealand because the former Mamaloni Government felt it was inappropriate to bring the weapons over during the time when peace talks to end the Bougainville crisis were in progress

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