22 Jan 2007

Solomon Islanders voice concern about plans to re-arm local police

8:18 pm on 22 January 2007

There is concern being voiced in Solomon Islands about the Prime Minister's plan to re-arm local police.

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and it's Participating Police Force (PPF) have spoken out against the Prime Minister's plans to rearm local police.

This comes as a controversial plan by Manasseh Sogovare to allow firearms training in Taipei for his personal police bodyguards has been quashed by the Taiwanese government.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says a lot of Solomon Islanders don't feel the Force is ready to be armed.

"The sense I'm getting at the moment is that a lot of Solomon Islanders are concerned at the timing and where the decision is coming from - not so much the decision itself. That it is coming from a political level and not a police level. If the police feel that they are not ready to be armed then but the political level is saying they are ready. I think these are the questions in Solomon Islanders' minds at the moment and everyone is a bit nervous about what is going on."

Dorothy Wickham