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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Minister commended Malaita for initiating Leaders Peace and Reconciliation Summit

Solomon Islands National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace minister Sam Iduri last week commended leaders and the people of Malaita for pursuing reconciliation with Guadalcanal Province.

The two provinces were directly involved in the recent armed social unrest from 1998 to 2003.

Speaking at last week’s Malaita Leaders’ Peace and Reconciliation Summit, Mr Iduri said the positive response from Malaitans showed their commitment to the reconciliation and healing process between people of the two provinces.

“Throughout human history we witness that our human will to survive rises above all our struggles, challenges and brokenness. The choice and determination to reconcile and forgive one another is critically important to our continued co-existence as one united Solomon Islands,” he said.

Mr Iduri said the Malaita Peace and Reconciliation Committee, the Malaita Provincial Government and Community-based organisations have played an important leadership role.

He said this was through the implementation of the National Government’s policy on peace-building and reconciliation in Malaita and the country as a whole.

“The government recognises your magnificent work in reconciliation amongst our people and commends you for the initiatives taken and in owning the reconciliation processes.

“In a lot of cases you have taken proactive stance and not waiting for the national government to do everything all the time,” the Minister said.

He said building the reconciliation bridge to sustainable peace requires initiative, commitment, and ownership through sacrifice, time and resources.

“You have done this in the true spirit of partnership and commitment to peace-building and reconciliation,” Mr Iduri said.

It is understood the Government is committed to consolidating and advancing the on-going National and Inter-Provincial Reconciliation. Government reports said this commitment is also extended to the outcome of the 2004 Malaita Leaders summit on peace, and although the processes have been slow, the determination is still there.

Greater part of this effort will be based on the level of ground work achieved so far with the heightened understanding achieved through continued consultation and dialogue between the national government, respective provinces and other stakeholders.

Mr Iduri said while the law and order situation and social stability continues to show improvements in the country; peace building and reconciliation processes remain major challenges unless the outstanding issues, structural, root and symptomatic causes of the ethnic conflict are addressed.

The Malaita peace summit concluded last Friday.

Source: Solomon Star

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