solomon islands hotspot micro


Hotspot Micro-Report



More than 30 people in 2003 and
hundreds of people since 1998 have been killed in the Solomon Islands. 
Thousands have been intimidated and displaced from their homes. The violence
and intimidation stem from long-term tensions between the Istabu, the
indigenous population of Guadalcanal, and the Malaitans from the neighboring
island of Malaita. Although both groups are ethnic Melanesians, the Istabu
resent the migrant Malaitans for taking jobs and landIn
1998, fighting broke out between these two groups after the Istabu Freedom
Movement began forcing Malaitans out of Guadalcanal. As a result, some 30,000
people had to abandon their homes.  In June 2000, a rival militia group,
the Malaitan Eagle Force, staged a coup and forced the prime minister to
resign, accusing him of failing to address the crisis.  Although an
Australian-brokered peace deal was signed in October 2000, tension and violence
continue today, particularly in the Weathercoast region of Guadalcanal, where
warlord Harold Keke and his supporters reside.  Keke is said to be
responsible for a four-year reign of terror around his base and for hundreds of
Weathercoast villagers fleeing to refugee camps in Honiara.  On July 24,
2003, an Australian-led intervention force arrived on the islands to restore
peace.  Since the arrival of this force, Keke has freed three of the nine
Church of Melanesia brothers he held hostage. It is feared that Keke may be
holding six remaining hostages as a shield against any attack by the foreign
force.  Leaders of the Malaita island militia, which still controls parts
of the capital Honiara since its coup in 2000, say they want to surrender their
weapons and discuss a 30-day amnesty with the head of the peacekeeping force.


Evidence of Abuse and Danger
  • Arbitrary detainment, torture, and execution of suspected dissidents and
    members of opposing ethnic groups (Amnesty International)

  • Innocent civilians terrorized or killed in the crossfire of the two warring
    factions (AI)

  • Forced displacement of Malaitans under the threat of death by the Guadal people

  • Rape of women (AI)

  • Homes raided and destroyed in Weathercoast villages (New Zealand Herald, July
    7, 2003)

  • Increased malnutrition and preventable fatalities among children and mothers

  • Widespread availability of illegal guns and estimated 1300 illegal weapons held
    by militants and the public  (New Zealand Herald, AI)

  • Decapitation (an Australian missionary was beheaded on the island of Malaita
    this year). (BBC)
Field Contacts Verification
  1. International Media

  2. Embassies

  3. International Human Rights

  4. NGOs

  5. International Relief NGOs

  6. National Organizations

  7. Local Organizations



International Contacts:

United Nations Office of the Secretary General

United Nations Security Council

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations High Commission for Human Rights

United Nations High Commission for Refugees

Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands

European Union

United States Contacts:

Department of State:

  •  Human Rights, Democracy
    and Labor

  • Emergency Task Force


  • House of Representatives: Committee on International Relations

  • Senate:  Committee on Foreign Relations

  • Congressional Caucus on Human Rights

Foreign Ministries:

Foreign Ministries:

Embassy of

Embassy of New Zealand

Embassy of Papua New

Embassy of Indonesia

Embassy of

Embassy of the Netherlands

Embassy of

Embassy of Belgium

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Embassy of Finland

Embassy of the United

Embassy of Denmark

Embassy of

Embassy of Canada

Embassy of Sweden

Embassy of European Union

Embassy of

Embassy of Russia

Included are UN ambassadors from these countries



Non-Governmental Organizations / Other:

International Crisis Group

Human Rights Watch

Amnesty International

International Committee of the Red Cross in Solomon Islands



The Washington Post

Washington Times

LA Times

Chicago tribune

New York Times




Associated Press

United Press International

The Australian

The Age

Canberra Times

The Courier Mail

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

New Zealand Herald

Voice of America



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