RealNews

Solomons Force to Meet Militia

The man in charge of the Australian-led peacekeeping force in the Solomon Islands has agreed to hold talks with one of the country’s most powerful militia groups. Nick Warner, a senior Australian diplomat, plans to meet leaders from the Malaita Eagle Force later this week to discuss the decommissioning of illegal weapons. The MEF, involved in a bitter ethnic war that tore the troubled archipelago apart, said it will not resist the peacekeepers and has claimed it is ready to start handing in its weapons if its ethnic rivals do the same. In the capital Honiara, the military build-up continues. A platoon of Tongan soldiers has arrived, along with Iroquois helicopters from New Zealand and a rifle company from Fiji. So far 1,200 troops and police officers from across the South Pacific are here. That number will double in the coming weeks. Now that the capital has been secured, the deployment into the provinces should start in the next few days. Full Story

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