PM denies funding ex-militants’ office


PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Government did not fund the establishment of ex-combatants’ offices at Town Ground Plaza, West Honiara.

This was after Opposition Leader Matthew Wale and Member of Parliament for West Are Are, John Manenioru confirmed seeing ex-combatants of Malaita and Guadalcanal renting offices at Town ground.

Sogavare told Parliament yesterday that anyone in this country has the right to organise themselves to set up office.

However, he said the Government is not aware of funding any office.

Most of the ex-combatants are members of Solomon Islands Post Conflict Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (SIPCRRA) Guadalcanal and Malaita.

They have set up to push for their demands, after they signed the Townsville Peace Agreement on October 15, 2000, to end the ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal.

Chairman of Public Accounts Committee and MP for East Honiara, Douglas Ete asked how the government is going to rehabilitate the ex-combatants.

Sogavare said there will be a Commission set up to look on the outstanding claims.

He said the precedent had been set in the past where Government has paid out money for lost properties and loss of lives.

Sogavare said it is not a simple matter and that it needs the cooperation of everyone to address.

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