Legalise Townsville Agreement

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RAMSI's arrival two years after the signing of the TPA
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—GP group wants land issues addressed as development increases

By EDDIE OSIFELO

The Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government is urged to legalise the Townsville Peace Agreement to address land issues on Guadalcanal.

Guadalcanal Post-Conflict, Reconciliation Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (GPCRRRA) Western Region made the call after successive governments including the current government are still to implement 75 percent of the agreement.

The National Government, Malaita Province, Guadalcanal Province, Isatabu Freedom Movement and Malaita Eagle Force signed the TPA in Townsville, Australia on 15 October 2000 to end the civil unrest.

GPCRRRA Western Region General Secretary George Hilly said today they see reengagement of companies, national projects and individuals on abandoned land on Guadalcanal.

Hilly said they believe that if the Government does not address the abandoned land issue, it could lead to another uprising.

He said it is important for the government to gazette the TPA into law.

“We believe this agreement paves way for peace and stability in the country,” he said.

Furthermore, Hilly said North West Guadalcanal is currently the host of two national projects at Mamara and Aruligo.

He said the coming of national projects give greenlight for other investors to come and invest on the abandoned land again.

Moreover, Chairman of GPCRRRA Western Region John Damusi said what he observed within the communities, people have disagreement over this long-awaited issue that the Government needs to address, especially on land.

He said GPCRRA Western Region looks forward for the Government to address land issues according to its timeline.

However, he said Government has put a halt on the Commission of Inquiry into abandoned land on Guadalcanal.

“The COI office at Townground has shut down already.

“We feel pressured today because of national developments and people who left have come back to resettle on these abandoned lands,” he added.

Damusi said it seems the Government under the watch of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare did not prioritise the concerns of Guadalcanal people.

In 2014, both members of the IFM and Malaita Eagle Force held a reconciliation and apology ceremony at Rove Police ground.

Hilly said it seems the Government has the interests of investors and not interests of the people.


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