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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 11, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 12Jun00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Missionaries Evacuated From Solomon Islands Following Coup Attempt
(Missionaries evacuate)
Deseret News 11Jun00 N1

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA -- The eight LDS missionaries serving in the Solomon Islands have been evacuated to Brisbane, Australia, according to a press release issued by the LDS Church on Saturday. The six young men and senior couple were evacuated by ship along with the Australian citizens in the area.

The evacuation was prompted by a coup attempt in the Solomon Islands' capital, Honoria on June 5th. A militia called the Malaita Eagle Force kidnapped Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, the Solomon Islands' prime minister, in a move that seems to copy the recent coup attempt in Fiji, which also led the Church to evacuate missionaries, but in that case only to the other side of the island.

In both cases, the coup attempts were sparked by ethnic unrest. In Fiji, the coup was by a native Fijiian against the elected government, composed primarily of immigrant Indians. In the Solomon Islands, the trouble is between the Isatabu Freedom Movement, a group claiming to represent the people native to the island of Guadalcanal, and the Malaitans, who came to Guadalcanal with U.S. Forces in World War II and now comprise about 30% of the population. See also:

The gathering storm in the South Pacific The Economist 11Jun00


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