Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Goff Welcomes First Weapons Surrender In Solomons

Goff Welcomes First Weapons Surrender In Solomon Islands


Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the first surrender of around 40 weapons from a former militant group, the Isatabu Freedom Movement, to the International Peace Monitoring Team (IPMT) in the Solomon Islands as a promising start.

"Today's hand over ceremony in the Eastern Guadalcanal district was an important event for the ex-combatants, their families, the local communities, and the Guadalcanal Provincial Government," Mr Goff said. "It represents a formal closure for one group of Solomon Islanders to the violence which has had such a devastating impact on the country and its people.

"Although the deadline initially set by the Townsville Peace Agreement for the surrender has been extended by one month, it is good to see the Isatabu militants in the east of Guadalcanal Island are ahead of schedule in handing over their weapons to the IPMT.

"The weapons, handed over by 50 ex-IFM combatants, have been checked against an inventory by IPMT members, labelled and placed in the container. The container was locked under the IPMT’s supervision.

"The monitors will not guard the weapons. The process relies on good faith and commitment, which the peace monitors will encourage by helping build confidence.

"It is a welcome occasion for all Solomon Islanders committed to the peace process, and it is pleasing that members of the New Zealand Police, Defence Force and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been able to play such an important role.

"Further weapons surrender ceremonies are planned in the coming weeks, involving both ex-militant groups (Isatabu Freedom Movement and Malaita Eagle Force

"Tensions, however, remain in the Solomon Islands and the situation remains fragile. It will take a great effort from all sides to maintain the momentum of the peace process. New Zealand will continue to do all we can to support the people of the Solomon Islands with the challenges which lie ahead."

ENDS


Background.

There are 14 New Zealanders now in the Solomon Islands. The Deputy Leader of the IPMT is MFAT official Mr Chris Seed. Other New Zealanders are Police and Defence personnel, working as peace monitors in team sites (a NZ Police officer is leader of one of the Honiara teams), coordinating IPMT operations, and providing communications and other support to team sites. The total IPMT size is currently 39, and will be 49 when second Australian deployment arrives next week. There are currently 5 container sites, 3 on Guadalcanal and 2 on Malaita. Teams are at present located in Honiara and Auki on Malaita. When the full Team arrives there will be additional team sites to the east and west of Honiara.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news