Solomons PM considering legal action over NZ journo’s article

 Image: Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare


Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, is considering legal action after a claim by a New Zealand journalist that he staged the 2000 coup.

The office of Sogavare has denounced the allegation in Michael Field’s article ‘War in Solomon Islands circles’, published in the Island Sun newspaper in Honiara.

The article reflects on events in Solomon Islands around 2000 and the protracted conflict focused on Guadalcanal between the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) and the Isatabu Freedom Movement.

At the height of the tensions a coup forced a change of government, with Sogavare emerging as Prime Minister.

However Sogavare has issued a statement saying the claim he instigated the coup is false and malicious, and that he deplores it in the strongest terms.

The Prime Minister last month announced a rehabilitation payment package worth US$375,000 to former MEF members.

In a statement, the Prime Minister said the coup was staged by some Solomon Islanders who thought “the political government at that time failed to protect their ethnic grouping from harm by other Solomon Islanders who took the law into their own hands because of government failure to address their longstanding concerns and grievances.”

The Prime Minister’s office say the article is an example of fictitious journalism, and has cautioned local journalists about re-publishing articles from other online sit’s word for word without verifying the veracity of their content.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

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