What has transpired over the last two days is not the Malaitan way.
A Malaitan man takes pride in his family.
He holds up his ‘falafala’ and takes pride in his relationships, relations and family.
He invests heavily to keep family together.
He does not steal from the garden to feed his family.
He is respectful of his customs and culture which teach him the values of love, unity and respect.
We do not condone the violence and have seen how repeated acts of lawlessness has disrupted the lives of mothers and children.
Solomon Islands and Solomon Islands residents have worked hard and invested in their business despite hardships and challenges since the ethnic tension, the 2006 riots and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Their work is vital to the economic growth of this country.
It was heartbreaking to see men, women, youths and children accompanying their parents to destroy and loot the businesses in Honiara.
We want peace. Peace is something that leaders must strive for daily.
It should be the foundation of their vision, actions and future.
It should be the basis of a prosperous and safe Solomon Islands for all.
We appeal to Malaitan leaders, especially the fourteen Malaita Parliamentarians, the Malaita Provincial Government, churches, traditional leaders and Honiara City Parliamentarians and Councillors to work with Malaitans in Honiara to stop the violence and pursue a dialogue with the national government.
On the same note, we again respectfully call on Prime Minister Sogavare to see the importance of a dialogue with the people of Malaita.
As mothers and leaders, we want peace.
Peace will not come about if our men from both sides of this do not humble themselves and put their people first, and meet face to face at the discussion table.
Our cry as mothers is for leaders to listen and work in consultation with the cries of the people. Our cry as women leaders is to see humble servitude leaders who put people first.
We understand that the Australian Defence Force is coming to the country to support the RSIPF. We would like to emphasize that the ADF intervention should not take away the responsibility and urgency for the PM to have a dialogue with Malaitan leaders.
Women must also be part of this dialogue.
As Malaita women leaders and mothers, we want to recommend that going forward, a commitment from the government to protect the human rights of the people and peace and security as priorities to ensure that the atrocities of the past two days never happen again.
By Ethel Sigimanu
Malaita Women’s Spokesperson