23 May 2002

Solomon Islands police asked to hand in their guns as part of government's amnesty offer

4:03 pm on 23 May 2002

Solomon Islands police officers and constables who are still holding weapons have been asked to surrender them.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Wilfred Akao, says he has made the directive for the surrender of the gumns as the police carry out an internal gun amnesty campaign.

Our correspondent in Honiara, George Atkin, has more details.......

"Commissioner of Police, Morton Sireheti has tasked Mr Akao and Assistant Commissioner of Police National Reconnaisance and Surveillance Force, Joseph Baetolongia, with the police gun surrender campaign. Mr Sireheti says he's confident the campaign would be successful and commends Mr Akao and Mr Baetolongia for the spirit and enthusiasim they have shown in taking up the task. Deputy Commissioner of Police Akao says he is working closely with Mr Baetolongia to finish the task. Five hundred police officers and eleven members of the Melanesian Brotherhood of the Anglican Church have discussed with Mr Akao and Mr Baetolongia the need for gun surrender. And Mr Akao has called on all police officers to put aside their differences and work as one. He says there are no men from Malaita, from Guadalcanal, from Western Province or any other area, but you are brother and sister in spirit, and working for a common purpose"