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Security Council backs harmony in Solomon Islands

Security Council backs efforts to restore ethnic harmony in Solomon Islands

16 November -- The United Nations Security Council today expressed strong support for last month's peace agreement aimed at ending the hostilities between rival militias in Solomon Islands.

"The Security Council encourages all parties to cooperate in promoting reconciliation, so that the objectives of the Townsville Peace Agreement can be met," the Council President said in a statement read out at an open meeting this morning. The meeting was convened at the request of the Solomon Islands' representative to the UN, whose letter to the Council President contained provisions of the 15 October accord and provided information on the conflict between the ethnic militias of the Malaita and Guadalcanal islands -- the Malaita Eagle Force and the Isatabu Freedom Movement.

In its statement, the Council urged all parties to continue to cooperate in accordance with the Agreement by restoring and maintaining peace and ethnic harmony, renouncing armed force and violence, settling their differences through consultation and peaceful negotiations, and confirming their respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The Council also commended the countries of the region that had supported conflict resolution and welcomed the establishment of the International Monitoring Team composed of unarmed military personnel and civilian police from Australia and New Zealand. Other nations, particularly those in the region, were encouraged to participate and assist in implementing the accord.

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