SOLOMONS VILLAGERS GIVE UP GUNS

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 5) - The
Australian-led Solomon Islands intervention force has collected more weapons,
including high-powered police-issue guns, from villages west of the capital,
Honiara.

The Solomon Islands police commissioner has been presented with
the weapons by ex-militants.

The Solomon Islands police commissioner, William Morell, was
invited to Provincial Government Day celebrations at Thadivoko village in rural
Guadalcanal west of the capital.

A flooded river meant the police commissioner arrived late but
ex-militants who had fought for the Guadalcanal militia during the ethnic
conflict paraded before him with their weapons, along with school children and
church groups.

The ex-militants then came forward to surrender their guns, some
of which they had taken after clashes with the police force.

One ex-militant commander said the group gave up its guns
because they now felt the intervention force could guarantee their protection.

August 5, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra 

 

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