MONITORING POSTS GO UP NEAR HONIARA TO HELP PRESERVE CEASE-FIRE

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (August 21, 2000 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation/PINA Nius Online)---The Ceasefire Monitoring Council will shortly start establishing monitoring posts in the areas of influence of both the Isatabu Freedom Movement and the Malaita Eagle Force.

Co-chairman of the Council, Paul Tovua, confirmed that a total of four monitoring posts will be set up, both in the west and east of Honiara.

He said nine monitors will man each of the four posts.

The nine monitors in each post will include a leader, two deputies and six general patrol staff.

Tovua said each post will carry out at least four patrols a week within their areas, and if accessible, visit villages and militant groups.

They will be required to supply cease-fire information to people within their areas of patrol.

Mr. Tovua stressed that the monitors are not armed.

(Background: The cease-fire in the Solomon Islands follows ethnic conflict which engulfed Guadalcanal. The capital, Honiara, has been under the control of a joint operation of the Malaita Eagle Force and elements of the paramilitary police field force. The Guadalcanal countryside is largely under the control of Guadalcanal's Isatabu Freedom Movement. The ethnic conflict began when Guadalcanal militants began trying to drive out Malaitans, claiming they dominated government and business and were taking over Guadalcanal land.)

Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Allan Kemakeza, has confirmed that he has received a joint peace package plan from the Guadalcanal Provincial Government and the Isatabu Freedom Movement.

Mr. Kemakeza told SIBC he has made the peace package available to the lawyers representing the Malaita Eagle Force, the Isatabu Freedom Movement and the government for their consideration.

He also noted that the joint paramilitary Malaita Eagle Force operation is yet to submit its peace package.

Isatabu Freedom Movement chief spokesman Henry Tobani earlier told SIBC that there is nothing new in their peace package. It contains, he said, the bona-fide demands of the indigenous people of Guadalcanal for additional displacement payments and compensation for the two people killed by the Malaita Eagle Force at Visale clinic last month.

Malaita Eagle Force spokesman Andrew Nori earlier stated that his group also would like the issue of compensation for damage to and loss of property of people from Malaita addressed.

SIBC understands other issues to be discussed at the next peace talks will be the surrendering of arms and amnesty for members of the two militant groups.

Initial peace talks are expected to start on board the New Zealand frigate Te Kaha on Friday.

In related news, Solomon Islanders have been invited to submit papers on issues to be discussed at the National Peace Conference. Issues include amnesty, compensation, rehabilitation, state government, land and law and order.

Organizers of the conference say it is important that all the provinces participate actively in the meeting.

The organizers are encouraging the provinces to bring up the specific issues they want discussed, which later will be presented to the government.

The National Peace Conference will include participants from the churches, women, community leaders, business representatives, provincial premiers, youth and non-government organizations.

This conference also will take place on the New Zealand navy ship, Te Kaha, August 25 to 27.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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