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SOLOMONS’ CHOISEUL REACHES OUT FOR PEACE The province wants to end longstanding hostilities

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Feb. 18, 2009) – The people of Choiseul province are finding ways to resolve the outstanding spillover effects of the Bougainville Crisis which had affected them since 1988.

Last week a Peace and Reconciliation Symposium for Choiseul province was held at the provincial capital Taro to look at ways which lead to sustainable peace and a stable environment.

[PIR editor’s note: Choiseul is an island province of the Solomon Islands located just east of Bougainville. The people of Choiseul are claiming payments for the loss of relatives and property from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville during the conflict in the Papua New Guinea Province of Bougainville in the early 1990s.]

The theme of the symposium was fostering peace to advance development.

Eighty-five participants from various levels of leadership in the province and from the Ministry of National Peace and Reconciliation in Honiara attended the meeting.

The Unity Development Officer for Choiseul and Western Provinces in the ministry, Reuben Lilo says peace and reconciliation is a priority of the government policy of reconciliation and rehabilitation in the country.

He says peace is a prerequisite to development.

Mr Lilo says participants discussed social and political issues in the country but the ministry focused on how to deal with the spill over effects of the Bougainville crisis to Choiseul.

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