Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial licensed copyright,
|Object type||Black & white - Film original negative 35mm safety base|
|Place made||Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal|
|Date made||July 2003|
|Copyright holder||Bohane, Ben|
|Copying provision||Copy provided for personal non-commercial use|
Militant leader Harold Keke (centre, hands clasped) and Guadalcanal Liberation Front (GLF) guerrillas, pray before heading out on a boat patrol from Mbiti village, Weathercoast, Guadalcanal. Keke, whose base is at the remote Weathercoast region, first came to prominence in the late 1990s as ethnic unrest developed in Solomon Islands. He became one of the leaders of the newly-formed Guadalcanal Liberation Army (later to change names several times), an organisation which aimed at driving Malaitans off the island. In response, the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) took over Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands, and overthrew the Bartholomew Ulufa'alu government in June 2000. Violence ensued and over the years Harold Keke and his supporters refused to sign any peace deals. Later, in August 2003, he surrendered to Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), an Australian-led peacekeeping force.