Solomons Opposition Objects To Payment For Ex-Combatants

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Compensation ‘unfair’ to those traumatized by Malaita Eagles Force

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Jan. 4, 2016) – The Parliamentary Opposition has describe the $3 million [US$370,000] payment recently made to the former combatants of the Malaita Eagles Force (MEF) as "unfair", especially to the victims of the ethnic tension including those who had lost properties as well as those who were being traumatized.

A statement from the Group today says the Government is setting a very bad and unsustainable precedence which will later see more claims arising.

The Opposition said these claims are not budgeted for in the 2016 budget and questions where the Government will get money to settle other claims.

The alternative government said it is aware that people who had lost their properties during the height of the tension have also yet to be compensated.

It adds, the government might as well address the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report and take fair approach in rehabilitating both the ex-combatants and victims rather than resorting to cash handouts.

The Opposition recommends the Government initiate a rehabilitation package in the form of projects instead of making cash payments or cash handouts to former combatants.

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