World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Warlord Paid SID$500,000 Before Releasing Hostage

USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
USP Pasifik Nius: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.html
USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ):
http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm
Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook

By Duran Angiki
USP's Pacific Journalism Online correspondent

GIZO, Western Solomons (WP): The Solomon Islands government secretly paid SIB$500,000 to the ethnic militia on West Guadalcanal for the release of Solomon Airlines pilot Eric Rove, the militia claim.

"Seleni yia hem hard cash and hem stap long here this time," (the money is in hard cash and in my possession) confirmed the general commander of the Guadalcanal Liberation Front (GLF), Harold Keke.

Guadalcanal ethnic militia captured Captain Rove with his nine-seater Islander aeroplane at Mbabanakira in south-west Guadalcanal Island six weeks ago.

The aeroplane is still under the control of the GLF's general. The government and the airline have been so far unsuccessful in negotiating for its release.

The Guadalcanal militia headed by Keke held pilot Rove hostage and demanded SID$2 million from the government for the release of the aircraft.

General Keke said in an interview yesterday the Minister of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Alan Kemakeza, paid the money through an intermediary.

Following the hijacking of the aircraft, the government and the Solomon Airlines used the services of the Anglican Church Brotherhood "Tasiu" to mediate between them and the militia leader.

The GLF general added that Kemakeza strongly warned him not to reveal any information about the settlement.

A spokesman for the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Martin Karani said yesterday the ministry was not aware of any such payment to Keke.

He said if the payment of the money had been made to Keke, probably the only one who would be in a position to comment about it was the minister.

The spokesman confirmed yesterday afternoon that the minister had attended a meeting and was unable to answer any question about the payment.

Following the release of the pilot on September 18 without his aircraft, the government and the Solomon Airlines management remained silent about the payment.

General Keke appealed to Guadalcanal people to remain loyal to the course and not to accept bribes from the government in the form of compensation for peace.

He reiterated his earlier called for Guadalcanal militants not to honor the peace agreement and refrain from bribery that might hinder their goal of freedom.

General Keke said it was hard to believe that the government had repatriated MEF members from Honiara back to Malaita, considering that more than 80 percent of them were police officers.

The West Guadalcanal militia leader said the agreement had compromised the land that many Guadalcanal young men had been killed for in its defence over the last 21 months.

He accused the political leaders of Guadalcanal Province of trading the aspirations of Guadalcanal people to ensure that they remained on the government payroll.

The general said it was now obvious that leaders of the MEF, IFM, Malaita and Guadalcanal Provinces and the government had been making money out of the conflict.

+++niuswire


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>

ALSO:

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC