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From the September 1999 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 46, No. 09)

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Ethnic Cleansing

Andrew Giarelli, World Press Review assistant editor

In the Solomon Islands, decades-old ethnic tensions between Guadalcanalese and Malaitans living on Guadal-canal have exploded into attacks by Guadalcanalese militants on the Malaitans. The attacks are "an attempt at ethnic cleansing by the Guadalcanal militants who have driven, at gunpoint, up to 20,000 Malaitans from their villages around Honiara [the islands' capital]," Paul Daley reports in the centrist Sydney Morning Herald. Some 6,000 have fled by ferry back to the island of Malaita, but Malaitan men staying behind are organizing their own militia to fight the "Guadalcanal Liberation Army."

"The Solomons have no army and only a small police force," reports Gwen Robinson in London's centrist Financial Times. "Guadalcanal islanders have been waging a growing campaign for restoration of their traditional lands and removal of squatters ... [and] demanding compensation for social problems such as rising crime, which they blamed on the growing population of Malaitans and the decision to locate the capital on Guadalcanal."

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