This week in Solomon Islands, the Temotu Province came back to the bargaining table in an attempt to settle its grievances with the national government. Officials have called for more peace, but it appears that the violence has been gradually on the decline since the beginning of the year. Villagers are only shelling at the government, saying it failed to build a dam.
On the western side of the country, fights between tribes have also been on the decline. These fights started around tribal representatives taking part in local government elections in 2017. The days of a bloody conflict between two tribes, the Julus and Komelas, are long gone. Each is responsible for about 20 percent of the Solomons’ entire landmass. Most of the rest is claimed by the Malaita and Temotu tribes.
The Malaita, their 10,000 people a tenth of the population of the Solomons, and the Temotu, their 50,000 population a fifth of the total, have openly declared their allegiance to the government.
There are going to be opportunities for the government to address the issues if it is willing to deal with them. The Malaita people are being run down by the government, and for them to vote for the government again seems a little inexplicable.