14 Feb 2007

Secession threat in Solomons over police rearming bid

8:06 pm on 14 February 2007

Western Province in Solomon Islands has threatened to secede if the national government goes ahead with its plan to re-arm the police.

The provincial premier, Alex Lokopio, has told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation that the government's move goes in the wrong direction and shows a lack of confidence to address the issue of state government.

Mr Lokopio has warned that the return of guns will divide Solomon Islands as experienced during the ethnic tension a few years ago.

He says the people have given the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands the mandate to ensure there are no more guns in the country.

His comments follow similar opposition expressed by Guadalcanal leaders.