MILITIA GROUP IS SOLOMONS ATTEMPTS TO SEIZE POWER June 2, 2000

MILITIA GROUP IN SOLOMONS ATTEMPTS TO SEIZE POWER

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (June 5, 2000 – Radio Australia)---A militia group in the Solomon Islands that has been one of the two combatants in an ethnic civil war on the country's central island of Guadalcanal has attempted to seize control through a coup.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that the Malaita Eagle Force has taken control of a number of key installations in the capital, Honiara:

"The Malaita Eagle Force was established last year by young men from the heavily populated island of Malaita to do battle with the Isatabu Freedom Fighters - a militia group from Guadalcanal who had begun attacking and terrorizing Malaitan settlers on Guadalcanal.

"According to people in the Solomons who've contacted Radio Australia the Eagle Force had given the Parliament a deadline of today to pay a massive compensation claim for the property of Malaitan people destroyed by their Guadalcanal opponents, the Isatabu Freedom Fighters.

"Reports from Honiara say heavily armed Eagle Force members have been roaming the streets all weekend.

"Sean Dorney, Radio Australia."

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

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