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Bishops urge arms surrender in Solomons

Oceania bishops meeting in the Papua New Guinea coastal city of Rabaul have urged residents of the Solomon Islands to observe tomorrow's deadline for the surrender of arms, explosives and stolen property.

"The Catholic People of Oceania are united in prayer with the people of Solomon Islands who yearn for a lasting peace," they said. "There cannot be real peace as long as there are unlawful arms at large in Solomon Islands."

The 31 May deadline was set by the Government of the Solomon Islands.

"A country free of the threat of unlawful arms can be free of fear, Government Services can return to normal and the economy given the opportunity to recover," they said in a prepared statement signed by Bishop Soane Foliaki SM, president of CEPAC (Catholic Bishops of Australia, New Zealand, the Island Nations of the Pacific).

New campaign in Solomon Islands to recover guns (Radio Australia)

Religious Television Association (PNG)

30 May 2002