The second phase of the intra - reconciliation program was successfully completed recently throughout the four regions of Malaita Province.This was made possible by the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP) in collaboration with Malaita Peace and Reconciliation Committee (MPRC) through the Provincial Government, chiefs, church leaders, community leaders and NGOs.
Malaita Provincial Government and the Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement (CNURA) government have recognised the importance of this intra - reconciliation programme as significant prerequisite for true and meaningful development for long lasting peace that will achieve economic prosperity in longer term within the province.
The intra-reconciliation program became feasible after the translation of (CNURA) policy statement and the prioritization of Reconciliation and Rehabilitation as its number one priority to enable all levels of societies live in unity, peace and harmony.
The road map for this intra reconciliation programme was drawn in a Leader's Summit held in Auki in 2007. That is, the programme will concentrate mainly on all cases that are partially or wholly related to the ethnic tension.
The Intra - reconciliation program began with a two and half week training jointly coordinated by World Vision and staff from MNURP on 28th May 2008 in Auki, Malaita Province.
The twenty four Field Mediators were selected on the basis of their capability and recognition in their communities and on their past experiences in community leadership.
The Field Mediators after two months in the field presented to MNURP through Malaita Peace and Reconciliation Office (MPRO) a total of fifty six ethnic tension related cases of which twenty two cases (39%) were approved for facilitation and assistance whilst almost 82% of the approved cases were reconciled.
The remaining 61% of ethnic tension related cases await the third phase of intra reconciliation programme probably this year and part of 2009
Generally, the success comes about when five cases were reconciled in Central Region, seven in Northern Region, three in Southern Region and three cases in Eastern Region.
The second phase of intra reconciliation program started at the end of May and contracts of field mediators are expected to expire at the end of October 2008
Most reconciled ethnic tension cases were emotional especially in cases where perpetrators and victims have never met and for the first time came together to forgive and accept each other to live in unity and harmony with one another.
Individuals and communities not only forgive each other but most importantly will align and pull resources to build an environment that is conducive for investment in the province.
The program further aimed at preparing the province for future reconciliations at all levels and especially the inter provincial reconciliation with Guadalcanal and other provinces in Solomon Islands.
Furthermore, the intra reconciliation programme and the negotiation and mediation skills displayed by field mediators should be a roll model to community leaders, church leaders and family heads to handle and pacify dispute and argument before conflict actually eventuate.
The need for this intra reconciliation program amongst all levels of the society becomes exceedingly important to reconcile and unite conflicting parties, individuals and societies whose relationships were torn apart during the ethnic conflict.
Press Release (Government Communication Unit)