By Hayley J. Campbell
Impunity Watch Senior Desk Officer, Oceania
HONIARA, Solomon Islands – The Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission is open and will begin addressing the ethnic violence which killed 100 and displaced 20,000 in 1997 to 2003.
Today, several thousand people came to watch South African Nobel laureate and Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, open the Commission to the public. The Archbishop spoke at the opening where he encouraged the Solomon people to embrace forgiveness and peace.
On Monday, Prime Minister, Derek Sikua, announced the Commission members which included three Solomon Islanders and two foreign members.
In 1997, ethnic conflict almost destroyed the Solomon Islands. Australia led a peacekeeping intervention in 2003, but tribal tensions have persisted. The Commission was formed to address these concerns.
The Commission hopes that through reconciliation methods, the country might move away from its troubled past and embrace sustainable peace.
For more information, please see:
Radio New Zealand International – Solomons Truth and Reconciliation Commission launched – 29 April 2009
BBC News – Solomons launches truth inquiry – 29 April 2009
The Australian – Solomon Islands gets Desmond Tutu truth help – 29 April 2009