Call to arrest arsonists
SUAFA Bay elders in north Malaita are calling on Auki Police to arrest arsonists who burned down 30 houses in the area September last year following the stabbing of a man in his 40’s to death.
The stabbing led to retaliatory acts by relatives, resulting in the torching down of 30 dwelling houses, both permanent and semi-permanent at Kafoi’ilo, Sulufoloa and Faufanea villages.
Suafa Bay spokesman and one of the victims, Patrick Taloboe, yesterday urged the Malaita Police to continue their investigations into the burning incident since most of the alleged arsonists are seen walking around freely at Auki town and some in Honiara.
“This is unfortunate incident since there is no arrest made as yet by the Auki Police,” Mr Taloboe told the Solomon Star.
“As victims of the incident, we want to see that the arsonists are arrested and face justice for their actions,” he added.
The alleged murderer, a 24 year male has been arrested and is currently in Auki police custody while investigations are continuing.
Mr Taloboe said what fears him is the grievances held onto by the victims towards the arsonists who can be seen walking around freely.
“Police must not back down on this case and investigation must continue without delay to ensure peace is maintained.”
“Are the alleged arsonists above the law?” Mr Taloboe asked.
Malaita Police Provincial Commander earlier on said the Suava Bay burning case is active.
“It is just a matter of time as we will come back and continue to work into the Suava incident,” provincial police commander Alfred Uiga said.
“Currently we have many major criminal cases to attend to but resources are limited,” he added.
He highlighted one trend for all criminal cases in Malaita is that police always succeed with their work and arrests are made in the end.
“So I can assure the victims that the case is still active and we will get the suspects.”
Reconciliation between the conflicting parties had been done at Malu’u Police Station a week after the burning incident happened.
Both national and provincial leaders were present as the matter was resolved through prayers and traditional reconciliation.
Also the more than 80 villagers who lost their dwelling houses are reported to have received assistance of relief supplies from the Government and the Solomon Islands Red Cross (SIRC).
Distribution of tents, bales of rice, noodle cartons, canned meats, cooking utensil, garden tools and bail of clothes form part of the rehabilitation package.
By TEDDY KAFO