AUSTRALIAN MILITARY GROUP SAYS SOLOMONS PEACE AGREEMENT UNRAVELING

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MELBOURNE, Australia (April 10, 2001 – Radio Australia)---An Australian military lobby group says the Solomon Islands peace agreement is coming apart.

As Radio Australia correspondent Graeme Dobell reports, the Australia Defense Association says Australian peace monitors in the Solomons may have to be withdrawn.

"The defense group says weapons are not being handed to the peace monitors as provided for in the Townsville Peace Agreement, brokered by Australia in October.

"The association says the guns are still in the hands of Malaitan militants and their allies in the police. It says the police and the militants are conducting authorized raids on Guadalcanal villages, and then engaging in indiscriminate destruction.

"The Australia Defense Association says without good faith between the warring sides, Australian peace monitors can do nothing and will have to be withdrawn.

"The commentary says if the Solomons is not to be left to stew, there’ll have to be a new peace agreement, based on a regional peace enforcement operation, underwritten by Australian money, soldiers and police.

"Graeme Dobell, 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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