30 Jul 2013

Nauru's President rejects claims Govt made wrong call on riot at camp

5:00 am on 30 July 2013

The president of Nauru, Baron Waqa, has rejected claims by an opposition MP the government made the wrong decisions in reacting to the riot at the asylum seekers' camp.

The asylum seekers wrecked the camp eleven days ago, causing an estimated 55 million US dollars of damage.

An opposition MP, Mathew Batsiua, says the government inappropriately involved itself in police operations, suspended the police commissioner and called out the island's reserve.

But Mr Waqa, who was out of the country at the time, says the commissioner was planning to let the asylum seekers leave the camp to stage a protest at the island's airport, a move the president says was absurd.

"So there was a difference in view and the police commissioner has his own view to allow these people out but the government has to protect its people. There are so many things that we put ourselves at risk by letting these people out."

Nauru's president Baron Waqa.