The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) clarifies that the recent disbursement of $3 million to former Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) combatants was specifically initiated for rehabilitation purposes and not for any role they played in the ethnic crisis.
The explanation was made in response to today’s front page article of the Island Sun newspaper which quoted an unnamed former Special Constable demanding government to recognise their service in Honiara during the crisis.
A statement from OPMC says the payment was initiated in honour of the Government’s commitment to the Townsville Peace Agreement (TPA) resulting in ex-combatants laying down their arms, paving the way for the restoration of law and order in the country.
It adds, only those ex-combatants with an amnesty certificate issued by the Peace Monitoring Council in accordance to the amnesty clause of the TPA after surrendering their guns are qualified to participate in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programme.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on how the programme works will be established between the Government and the ex-combatants.