Reconciliation held in east Kwaio over Mr Bell killing


A reconciliation ceremony was held in east Kwaio, Malaita province, last week between the families of Mr RW Bell and Mr Willies and families of those who also took part and lost their lives.

Speaking to Island Sun, a Mr Simon Palmer said their committee acknowledge the descendants of the two deceased, Robert Bell and Mr Willies, for willingly accepting to reconcile with the three tribes of East Kwaio especially the Nguda, Aieda and Furiilai who attacked Mr Bell and Mr Willies at Gweabe at Sinalangu east Kwaio in 1927.

Palmer mentioned that the three tribes played an active role leading to the reconciliation.

Palmer adds that the two-day programme was very touching, as was the coming together of the two parties in reconciling and making peace with each other.

The first-day programme on July 11 was called “Ririfuanimae” meaning to clear away what happened in the past with the dead ancestors involved in the killings.

This is done with a pig offered to the Fata’abu or chiefs to ask for their permission as well to convince them that the programme be accepted.

The next day was the “kwaigwaoinga” ceremony, the presentation of three pigs to the three reps from the three tribes involved in the killing of Mr Bell and Mr Willies, in remembering their leaders who were hanged by the gov’t for the killing.

“All these was part of the peace and reconciliation process,” Palmer said.

Palmer explains that following the two-day programme, the next move is to facilitate a peace programme as they are yet to do with the descendants of those innocent people from the highlands who were once abused and tortured by the Government.

He said that they are still working on how to facilitate and finance the programme.

Once all processes are done, then they will look at compensation matters with Mr Bell and Mr Willies’ relatives, as consultations have already been done.

Palmer adds that since they are facing financial difficulties, they are calling on all responsible authorities such as Ministry for Peace & Reconciliation for their support ‘as this is one main function of the ministry’.

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