Thursday, 5 May 2011 10:43 AM

Commission Concludes Hearing

The Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission has continued collecting evidence about the country's ethnic conflict, with a two-day hearing in Buma village on Malaita Province.

Fighting between the two rival militias between 1998 and 2003 killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands of others. This led to the arrival of the RAMSI international peacekeeping mission by Australian and Pacific Island troops.

For the first time, the commission has begun its first public hearings of former militants, starting with those from Malaita. Previous Hearings in 2010 were only for the victims of the crisis.

Chairman of the commission, Father Sam Ata, says hearing from the perpetrators of the violence will help Solomon Islands move forward.

"The process aims especially at this occasion to offer former combatants to help society to understand the truth about who manipulated the tension. Society wants to know," he said.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings will be held next week in Honiara, for the former militants of Guadalcanal.