MEMBERS of Solomon Islands Post Conflict Reconciliation Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (SIPCRRRA) are happy to see the national healing and apology programme commenced yesterday in Honiara.
Chairman for Guadalcanal desk, Joseph Sangu said a peace process and reconciliation cannot start anywhere but somewhere.
“At least we seen the beginning of a peace process,” he said.
Secretary of Malaita desk, Timothy Omani said this programme is to allow public to accept ex-combatants’ apology.
Omani said the ex-combatants of both parties have already reconciled in the past and have worked together for this peace building process.
“It is important for this country to come together and move forward in its development aspiration,” he added.
The programme also attracted chiefs and members of Shortland Islands and Bougainville.
Chief of Aleang, Lawrence Hotomo and Chief Benjamin Bisiging of Mono said they were happy to attend this programme.
“We have been waiting for long time after the crisis to see this country come together.
“We want to see peace in this country,” he said.
Eleanor Maineke, a former student of Divine Word University, who is now the peace building officer in Bougainville, had led a 12 members team to Honiara to witness the event.
Ms Maineke said both Bougainville and Solomon Islands have gone through crisis and have issues at the border.
She said as Bougainville prepare for its referendum in 2019, it is good to come and learn from its neighbour Solomon Islands.
“We want a similar model like Truth and Reconciliation Commission, however the cases in Bougainville is different because of the big damages experienced during the crisis.
“But it’s good to learn from Solomon Islands because we are close neighbour,” she added.
By EDDIE OSIFELO