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Greed and GrievanceEx-Militants' Perspectives on the Conflict in Solomon Islands, 1998-2003$
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Matthew G. Allen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838546

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838546.001.0001

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Saving the Solomons: The Malaita Eagle Force

Saving the Solomons: The Malaita Eagle Force

(p.137) Chapter 5 Saving the Solomons: The Malaita Eagle Force
Greed and Grievance

Matthew G. Allen

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines why militants decided to join the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF). Drawing on interviews and discussions with Malaitan ex-militants, it shows that former field commanders and rank-and-file members of the MEF view their actions as a form of self-defense and in terms of the need to “secure” and “protect” the Malaitans who had been the victims of the Guale uprising and, by implication, Honiara. It considers the claim by many of the ex-militants that they saved Honiara from destruction and thus the entire nation. Many of the Malaitan ex-militants locate the objective of saving the nation in a deeper historical narrative of Malaitan inequality and the role of Malaitans in “building” the Solomon Islands. Having built the nation, they then embarked on saving it from the Guale militancy, a hamstrung police force, and an incompetent national government. However, this chapter suggests that Malaitan ex-militants were also motivated by retribution and vengeance.

Keywords:   ex-militants, Malaita Eagle Force, self-defense, Honiara, Malaita, inequality, Solomon Islands, militancy, retribution, vengeance

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