Masked and armed Malaita Eagles Force (MEF) guerrillas gather on the outskirts of Honiara. This ...

Accession Number P04580.019
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film original negative 35mm safety base
Maker Bohane, Ben
Place made Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal
Date made c June 2000
Conflict Period 2000-2009
Copyright

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright

Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

Masked and armed Malaita Eagles Force (MEF) guerrillas gather on the outskirts of Honiara. This was the first time they had been openly photographed by overseas media, however they all wore masks, balaclavas or scarves to protect their identity. Ethnic tension escalated in Solomon Islands in the late 1990s. The Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM) claimed indigenous rights to land on Guadalcanal. They resented what they perceived as increasing Malaitan dominance of the Solomon Islands government and of the island of Guadalcanal. On 5 June 2000 the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) seized control of key installations in Honiara and took Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu hostage, demanding his resignation. During the political unrest in Solomon Islands, a Commonwealth delegation led by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff, visited Honiara on 10-11 June 2000, to assist with peace negotiations between the Solomon Islands government and militant groups.

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