SOLOMONS’ KEMAKEZA PLANS TO PAY REBEL LEADER

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SOLOMONS’ KEMAKEZA PLANS TO PAY REBEL LEADER

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 23) - A government envoy in the Solomon Islands has revealed that the Prime Minister has agreed to pay almost US$500,000 to a wanted rebel leader.

Harold Keke, head of the Guadalcanal Liberation Front, had demanded the money to compensate for the loss of lives during operations to capture him.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation has reported that the government envoy, Yukio Sato, says Prime Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, has promised to give the money to Keke and his people.

On Sunday, the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer condemned Kemakeza for his move to pay special constables after they shot at his house.

Downer said he had expressed Australia’s reservations about the payment, but he says the prime minister felt he had no alternative.

December 23, 2002

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

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