OPMC REFUTES $300 MILLION PAYOUT REPORT

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    The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has refuted the Solomon Star front-page article claiming that the Democratic Coalition for Change Government has paid a $300 Million rehabilitation package to ex-combatants last week.

    It said the reporter Mr Elliot Dawea has misquoted the Prime Minister on the payment figure and the beneficiaries and must be corrected.

    “Contrary to what was stated in the article, only a total of $3 million was disbursed last week. The money was paid as partial assistance under a long-term initiative the DCC Government intends to implement in the form of Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program for ex-combatants of both the former MEF and former IFM.

    “The $3million partial assistance made to ex-MEF combatants was drawn from the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace’ 2015 Development Budget Estimate. As for ex-IFM members of SIPCRRA, the Ministry is continuing to hold meetings with their respective committee to map out a way forward for similar initial assistance.

    “The Rehabilitation and Reintegration Support Development Programme being worked on by the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace is to honour the Solomon Islands Government commitment in the Townsville Peace Agreement (TPA) for rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants. This programme will be submitted to Cabinet for approval next year 2016,” the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said in a statement.