FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR GUADALCANAL PEACEKEEPING FORCE UNDER WAY

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (October 6, 1999 – Radio Australia)---For the first time, Solomon Islands police will join a multi-national peacekeeping force.

It will be the force being assembled for deployment in the Solomons’ own troubled province of Guadalcanal, where indigenous islanders and immigrants from neighboring Malaita have battled for months over land rights and jobs.

The Solomon Islands group will leave October 23 for training in Vanuatu, where it will be joined by other peace monitors from both Vanuatu and Fiji.

An advance party from Fiji is expected to arrive in the Solomons for duty earlier.

Assistant Police Commissioner John Homelo says the Solomon Island peacekeepers will monitor the surrender of firearms and militant’s activities, and report on the status of people who have been forced to leave their homes and work places.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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