KEKE TACTICAL PROBLEM FOR SOLOMONS POLICE CHIEF

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Radio Australia, July 23) - The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner said he'll be seeking advice from the Australian led intervention force soon after it arrives tomorrow on how he can best deal with the renegade militia leader, Harold Keke.

Keke and his rebels, who control part of the rugged Weather Coast of Guadalcanal, have been blamed for at least 50 deaths in the past 12 months.

The Police Commissioner said he's been trying to establish dialogue with Keke who's holding hostages and is alleged to have killed scores of people.

Keke refused to go to Townsville for the peace talks in October 2000 and has stayed outside the Townsville Peace Agreement.

Some in the opposing militia, the Maliata Eagle Force, have refused to give up their guns while Keke remains armed.

The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, William Morell, said he's hopeful a full-scale battle in the bush can be avoided. The first troops and police are expected to arrive in Honiara tomorrow.

July 23, 2003  

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra 

 

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